Cleaning Air Conditioners

by Karen Bates
(last updated April 29, 2019)

During the hot months, your air conditioner works hard so you and your family can stay cool. Unfortunately, the favor is not always returned. Many air conditioning units are not properly maintained, which can lead to other problems later on.

It is always a good idea to clean your air conditioner regularly. While one cleaning a year should be sufficient, if the unit is used heavily then it might need more attention. Filters may need changing more often during the hot months since you will be using the unit more often.

There are two basic types of air conditioners: window units and central air conditioners. A window air conditioner is generally used to cool a single room or area, while the central air conditioner works to chill the entire home. Both kinds of air conditioners need to be properly cared for. A clean air conditioner is not only more efficient, it is also safer to operate. To ensure that your air conditioning unit is clean and ready to use, there are a few instructions you'll need to follow.

To clean a central air conditioner:

  1. Power. Turn the power off on the air conditioning unit. Start by cleaning the outdoor part of the air conditioner. The fan will need to be cleaned of any debris that may be sticking to it. Wipe off the coils and the interior of the air conditioner.
  2. Inside. Look inside the air conditioner. Check for any potential problems like leaks. Make sure that if anything seems wrong, you contact a professional to have it fixed.
  3. Lubricate. If any parts of the motor need lubricating, use a few drops of oil to do the job.
  4. Filters. Clean or replace filters that are dirty. This may need to be done often during times of heavy use.

To clean a window air conditioning unit:

  1. Power. First, unplug the unit. If it is light enough to remove from the window easily, you can take it out to clean it.
  2. Face plate. Remove the faceplate and wash it, either by wiping it off or rinsing it with water.
  3. Filter. Take out the filter. Thoroughly clean it with water. This is the most important step, since a clogged and dirty filter will prevent your air conditioner from doing its job. If the filter is too dirty, you might need to replace it.
  4. Fans and coils. Clean the fan and coils with water to remove dirt or residue. Use a scrub brush on the coils if needed.
  5. Dry. Once everything is clean, let the unit dry completely before replacing the faceplate and using again.

With regular cleaning, your air conditioner should be able to work at its best and keep your home cool and comfortable.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...


Cleaning My House

Cleaning your house can seem like a huge job. If you set up a schedule for daily cleaning, however, you can keep things ...

Discover More

Chianti Wine

If you are looking for a great wine to try with your next meal, consider Chianti. This red wine works well with many ...

Discover More

Kitchen Cabinet Design

The cabinets in your kitchen should meet your specific needs. Choose the right cabinets for ultimate efficiency and ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Air Vent Cleaning

Air vent cleaning is a vital, often overlooked part of HVAC maintenance. While it is always a great idea to have a ...

Discover More

Air Duct Cleaning Equipment

Over time, air ducts can form a dirty buildup and may become a nuisance. Duct cleaning companies can use cleaning ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Reusable Furnace Filter

While disposable furnace filters are less expensive, reusable filters will save you more money over the long term. ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.