How to Clean Window AC Unit Without Removing It

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How to Clean Window AC Unit Without Removing It

Window Air Conditioning (AC) units are lifesavers in homes, especially high-rise buildings. The appliance helps keep the air cool. But debris and other dirt may enter your AC unit, altering its performance. In such a case, you’ll need to clean it. But how do you do it?

Key Takeaways: 

  • Disconnect your AC from the power source.
  • Remove reusable filters and clean them.
  • Using soapy water, wipe the interior.
  • Remove dust and debris from the inside of the AC using condensed air.
  • Spray the inside with your detergent solution.
  • Wipe down the AC and leave it to dry before reassembling it.

Read through to learn more about how to clean a Window AC unit without removing it. 

How Do You Clean a Window Air Conditioner Inside?

Follow the steps below to clean a window air conditioner inside.

  1. Clean the filter
    1. Unplug the air conditioner.
    2. Remove the front panel and filter. 
    3. Dust off debris and dust using a vacuum.
    4. Wash the filters with warm, soapy water.
    5. Leave it to dry before reassembling. 
  2. Dust off the fins and coils
    1. Gently wipe the aluminum fins with a soft-bristle brush—do so gently, as the fins bend easily. 
    2. Dust off the coils by spraying the inside with condensed air. 
    3. Dust off the coils and fins quarterly or twice a year to clean them. 
  3. Clean out the tray and drain
    1. Empty the drip tray and clear the drain. 
    2. Wipe the tray using a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris stuck on it.
    3. Similarly, wipe the drain’s opening to unblock it if anything is blocking it. 
    4. Leave them to dry before reassembling them.
  4. Reassemble and spray cleaner on your unit
    1. The final step after cleaning the inside of your AC is to reassemble it.
    2. Spray the hydrogen peroxide solution to the vent and other areas where air flows. Leave the unit to dry before plugging it into a power outlet. 

Related: How Do Portable AC Units Work and Do All Need to Be Vented?

How Do I Keep the Debris Out of My Window Air Conditioner?

Follow the steps below to keep debris out of your window air conditioner. 

Clean the AC Unit

  1. Clean the outside of the AC by removing debris and leaves within three feet. Remove anything nearby that may dispose of debris to the AC.
  2. Hose down the AC to remove debris. Keep the pressure low to avoid damaging the unit. 
  3. Remove foreign materials stuck inside the AC.

Related: Portable AC vs Window AC: Which one to Choose?

Use an Air Conditioner Cover

An air conditioner cover prevents snow, falling objects, dust, and other debris from damaging your AC. Use breathable materials like canvas. Non-breathable materials like vinyl and plastic may cause moisture buildup, leading to molds or rust.

Routine Maintenance

Schedule routine maintenance to keep your AC unit in check. Professional maintenance will remove debris from your AC, ensuring they work optimally. Doing so will lower your energy bills and extend your AC life. 

Is It OK to Spray Water on Your Window Air Conditioner?

Yes, it is OK to spray water on your window air conditioner. Your AC condenser needs regular water spraying to run more efficiently. You can spray the AC with a hose on hard steam to thoroughly clean it. 

However, while spraying your AC, avoid wetting electrical components. Doing so may damage the parts when plugged in, leading to more problems. 

 

Can You Spray off Window Air Conditioner With a Hose?

​Yes, you can spray your window AC with a hose. Hose spraying your AC cleans the unit and helps it run more efficiently.

Hose spray the AC from the top down to the bottom using a strong stream of water to clean it thoroughly. The condenser needs attention too. While pulling in the air, the condenser drags along dust, dirt, pollen, and other foreign materials. To remove these materials, lift off the condenser component and hose spray it.

Related: AC Not Cooling Below 75 – Reasons And Solutions

How to Clean the Vents on a Window Air Conditioner

Follow the guide below to clean the vents on your window air conditioner.

  1. Turn off the AC.
  2. Cover the area below the vent with a clean cloth to protect furniture if the ceiling vent is dirty. 
  3. You may want to wear protective gear to protect your eyes and hair from falling dust and debris.
  4. Wipe the vents using a dry microfiber cloth or a damp cloth. 
  5. Refrain from using water as it can push dust to the ceilings or walls, resulting in more problems.

How to Clean Window AC Unit Mold

Use the guide below to clean the window AC unit mold.

  1. Put hot water in a plastic bucket.
  2. Add a half cup of household bleach.
  3. Dip a scrubbing sponge in the solution and wipe the AC’s inside surface. 
  4. Hose spray the filter to remove debris. 
  5. Leave the unit to dry before reassembling it. 

How to Use Frost King Foaming Cleaner on Window AC Unit

The procedure below illustrates how to use frost king foaming cleaner on a window AC unit. 

  1. Turn off your AC unit and disconnect from the power source.
  2. Shake the frost king foaming cleaner well.
  3. Remove the cap and point the bottle towards the AC.
  4. Spray it on your AC unit. Ensure you thoroughly saturate the AC unit components with it. 
  5. Do not spray it on the electrical components of the unit.

Brown Sludge in Window Air Conditioner

Brown Sludge in the window air conditioner signifies clogged dirt particles. The sludge can form in the pipes and any other part of the AC.

Follow the steps below to remove sludge in your AC unit

  • Turn off your AC and unplug it from the power outlet.
  • Find the drain line (external pipe from the condenser). This part is the target area for sludge. 
  • Open the removable cap on the T-shaped vent to access the drain line.
  • Apply vinegar into the drain line through the vent to kill bacteria. Leave it for at least 30 minutes to kill all bacteria and unclog the space. ¼ teacup of vinegar is enough to clean the drain line.
  • Flush the drain line with clean water to remove the sludge. Repeat the process until you eliminate all sludge from the pipe. Observe the water flow; if the flow is slow, then some debris is left. Continue flushing with clean water until you have a smooth water flow. 

While your AC may still work with sludge, it is unsafe. A blocked drain line won’t stop the unit from working, but we recommend you do routine maintenance. Otherwise, it will decrease the unit’s efficiency and affect your health. 

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Styrofoam

Follow the steps below to clean the window air conditioner’s styrofoam.

  • Turn off the AC and disconnect it from the power source. This step will help prevent electric shock and damage to the AC components. Turning off the AC also helps save energy.
  • Remove the styrofoam, usually placed on the sides of the AC unit. However, you must do this process carefully to avoid disrupting the unit’s placement. Also, handle the component with care; it is fragile and can break. Furthermore, be careful as the styrofoam may contain stranded water—you may need a container to hold this water. 
  • Do not clean the styrofoam before removing it. Remove it to clean both sides. Removing it also allows you to see molds. 
  • Soak a clean towel in soapy water and wring it around the styrofoam. Wipe all sides to remove all dirt and debris. You’ll need to dip the towel in soapy water to clean it before wiping the styrofoam again. Include this step if it is too filthy. 
  • Add one cup of detergent or any cleaner to a bucket full of water. Ensure the bucket can fit two styrofoam.
  • Dip the styrofoam into the solution and leave it to soak for a few minutes. Put a heavy object on the styrofoam to keep it submerged—when left alone, it will float on the water. This step cleans the styrofoam and removes any dirt or debris. 
  • After a few minutes, remove the styrofoam from the water and wipe it with a soft cloth. 
  • Leave it for some minutes to dry completely. Avoid blow-drying it, as doing so can melt the styrofoam. 
  • Return the styrofoam to its position. Slowly and gently, put it back into place. It should be an easy procedure. If you experience problems putting it back, check if something is blocking it. 

How to Clean Through the Wall Air Conditioner

When it comes to Through-the-wall AC, there is nothing new—the cleaning procedure is the same. Follow the steps below to clean your through-the-wall air conditioner

  • Open your AC front panel.
  • Remove the filter. 
  • Dust off debris and dust using a vacuum.
  • Wash the filters with warm, soapy water.
  • Leave it to dry before reassembling. 
  • Wash the filters with warm, soapy water and leave them to dry.
  • Next, we move on to clean the fins and coils. Gently wipe the aluminum fins with a soft-bristle brush.
  • Dust off the coils by spraying the inside with condensed air. 
  • Empty the drip tray and clear the drain. 
  • Wipe the tray using a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris stuck on it.
  • Similarly, wipe the drain’s opening to unblock it if anything is blocking it. 
  • Spray the hydrogen peroxide solution to the vent and other areas where air flows. Leave the unit to dry before plugging it into a power outlet. 
  • Hose down the outer surface to remove debris and dust. 
  • Give the unit enough time to dry completely before plugging it back.

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