Window AC units can be a great solution for keeping some rooms in the home cool. Still, just like any other type of cooling equipment, they need regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure they work properly. With that in mind, here is a quick guide that will take you through all of the steps to clean your window AC without having to take it out of the window.

1. Unplug the Unit and Remove the Cover

The very first step is to unplug the unit from the power source. This is important as you will be using quite a bit of water for the cleaning, which could damage or ruin the unit if it was still plugged in. Once you’ve unplugged it, remove the front cover so you can access the filter. Depending on the design of the unit, the cover may simply pop off or you may have to unscrew it.

2. Clean the Filter

Once the cover is off, remove the filter and then use a vacuum to clean off as much dust and debris as you can. Next, gently wash the filter with warm, soapy water until it is fully clean and then set it aside to dry. For best results, you should generally wash the filter once every month. You should also make sure to replace the filter at the start of every season and then every two or three months for as long as it’s in use.

3. Wash the Cover and Wipe Down the Unit

The next step is to wash the cover while you’re waiting for the filter to fully dry. Depending on how dirty it is, you may be able to simply wipe it down with a damp rag or you may need to scrub it with soap and water. You should also wipe down the top and sides of the unit inside the house and make sure to get all of the small cracks on the front where the air comes out.

4. Remove Dust From the Coils and Fins

Now that you’ve cleaned the outside of the unit, it’s time to start doing the important components inside it. To start, use a vacuum with a brush head to gently remove all of the dust and dirt from both the evaporator coils and the fins. You should try to be careful not to bend the fins. If you do bend any, make sure to gently move them back into place before putting the unit back together. After vacuuming out as much dirt as you can, it helps to spray the fins and the evaporator coil with compressed air before running the vacuum again one final time.

5. Empty and Clean the Drain Tray

The next step is to carefully remove the drain tray and empty any water inside it. There really shouldn’t be much since the water should automatically drain out. If there is, this indicates that the condensate drain line is clogged and needs cleaned or otherwise unplugged. After dumping the tray, make sure to fully wash it out and then put it back in place.

6. Clean and Wash the Exterior of the Unit Outside the House

Now it’s time to go outside and clean the exterior part of the unit. Since this can be especially dirty, it usually helps to spray it with soapy water or another cleaning product and let this sit for 15 minutes or so. You’ll then want to take a hose and run water through the unit until everything is fully clean. Most units will have a small hole on top for the water to go in and another on the bottom for it to drain. You can use as much water as you need for this step. However, you should be careful as some of the water could leak inside the house. To avoid this, you may want to put buckets or towels underneath the unit to catch any water.

7. Reassemble the Unit and Spray It With Hydrogen Peroxide

Now that you’ve finished with the cleaning, the final step is to wait for everything to dry and then put the unit back together. You should usually wait around two to four hours before putting it back together to ensure everything is fully dry before you turn the unit back on. While you’re waiting, you might also want to lightly spray the filter and the entire front of the unit with a mild hydrogen peroxide solution to prevent mold and mildew growth.

If you’re looking for solutions to help keep your home cool during the summer, Galbreath Air is here to help. We specialize in AC installation, maintenance and repairs, and we also work on all types of heating systems. Our technicians can install, maintain and repair dehumidifiers, air purifiers, ductwork and other HVAC equipment and systems. We have been providing professional HVAC services to customers in Richmond for more than 40 years, and we would love to show you what makes us the area’s top heating and cooling specialist. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.