How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner without Removing It?

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner without Removing It

A window air conditioner is a great appliance to have if you live in a location where warm temperatures can make living and sleeping in your home uncomfortable. A window air conditioner is a simple and affordable way to cool down your home or office for an extended period of time.

As with many other appliances a window air conditioner requires regular cleaning to keep it in good working condition. By keeping your window air conditioner clean you will prevent the accumulation of mold and mildew. A clean window air conditioner also tends to use less energy than a dirty window air conditioner.

Cleaning a window air conditioner, without removing it, can seem like a difficult task at first, but overall it’s a pretty straightforward process that won’t take you as long as you think. Below we take you through 5 simple steps to clean your window air conditioner.

Step 1 – Clean Your Filter

The most important step in maintaining a window air conditioner is the regular cleaning of the filter, as the filter can quickly gather dust and dirt when used on a regular basis.

Start by unplugging your window air conditioner to avoid the potential for electrocution or other injuries. Take off the front panel of your window air conditioner and then remove the filter. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove most of the dust and dirt from the filter. Follow this step by washing the filter in warm soapy water. Wait until the filter is dry and then place it back in the window air conditioner.

Even if you clean your filter regularly you will still need to replace the filter with a new one a few times a year. If you only use your window air conditioner once or twice a week you might only have to replace the filter every 6 months. If you use the window air conditioner every day you might have to replace to filter every month and a half. Wash the filter, let it dry and then determine if it needs to be replaced.

Step 2 – Clean The Grill and Exterior

If you’re able to remove the grill, remove it and then clean in warm soapy water. If you’re not able to remove the grill simply wipe it as clean as possible with a not-too-wet cloth. Follow by cleaning the rest of the exterior of the window air conditioner with a damp cloth.

Remember to let the grill dry before reattaching to the window air conditioner. 

Step 3 – Clean Fins and Coils

As the face of your window air conditioner is already off you should be able to access the interior of your window air conditioner. If not consult the user manual to find out how to access the fins and coils.

When you have access to the fins and coils take a brush and brush the aluminum fins clean. Don’t panic if a fin bends, they bend easily, simply push it back into position. This won’t damage your air conditioner.

Follow by using compressed air to clean the dust off of the coils. If you don’t have access to compressed air simply blow on the coils, or use a very soft brush to remove as much dust as possible.

Step 4 – Clean The Tray and Drain

The last step is to clean the window air conditioner tray and drain. Use a vacuum cleaner or a cloth to remove everything inside the tray. Wipe down with a wet cloth and let dry. 

Follow by wiping down the drainage. Also, have a look inside the drain to see if it’s being blocked. If it is being blocked you will need to use a vacuum or toothpick to clean out the blockage.

Step 5 – Reassemble and Peroxide

When everything is dry you can proceed to reassemble your window air conditioner. A bonus, but not required, step is to spray the window air conditioner with a peroxide solution. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a window air conditioner, without removing it, is a much simpler process than most people think; disassemble, clean, and then reassemble. 

If you still need some help, here’s a great video showing the whole process from start to finish.