A dirty air conditioner is a big no-no! Not only is it harmful to health, but dirty conditioner also produces disturbing hum. The good news is that learning how to clean an air conditioner at home allows you to clean and maintain a room AC unit without calling a technician.
Simple cleaning is sufficient to keep your air conditioner works typically until the next maintenance schedule. The simple cleaning procedure can include the cooling fins or condenser coils, which are often clogged. Keep scroll through the following air conditioner hacks for the upcoming cleaning project!
Table of Contents
Tools & Materials You Need
Like any other cleaning projects, dealing with air conditioner requires you to prepare a list of tools and materials. It’s important to make sure that all the following tools and materials are available so you can do the cleaning without a problem.
Let’s begin with the required tools :
- Fin comb
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Shop vacuum
- Leather gloves
Then, here are the materials you have to prepare:
- Household cleaner
- Electric motor oil
- Air conditioner coil cleaner
What if you don’t have the required tools and materials at home? Since they are very basic, you can’t start the cleaning project without the tools. You can either buy in nearby household stores or borrow from your friendly neighbor.
How to clean air conditioner unit
When it comes to cleaning an air conditioner, you need to pay extra attention to several parts. Worry not, these parts can be easily found so you don’t have to take them apart and lose track of where they should be.
AC coils are among the dirtiest parts of the unit. Dirty air flows through these coils, causing dust, dirt, and debris to build upon its surfaces. Over time, dirty coils push the unit to work harder and reduces the ability to provide a cool atmosphere.
In extreme cases, dirty coils can completely block the airflow and potentially damage the whole air conditioner unit. It means you have a more expensive repair bill to pay. How to clean air conditioner coils?
Cleaning the coils can be done with several methods, one of which is using commercial cleaner by following these steps :
- Prepare cleaners, it can be foaming cleaner or self-rinsing cleaner.
- Use fin brush to clear the debris on coil surfaces or do by hand.
- Apply the cleaner.
If you use a foaming cleaner, especially for outdoor fin, then you need to rinse manually.
The filter traps debris, dirt, and dust so you can enjoy clean and fresh airflow. Unluckily, debris and dust buildup can block the filter and make the unit work harder than it should. Cleaning air conditioner filter is a must, especially if you live in a dusty environment.
Ideally, the air filter should be cleaned at least once a month. It can be twice a month if you feel there’s something different with the airflow. Here are a few steps to clean the filter by yourself:
- First, turn off the unit and remove the cover. Find the filter and remove it from its place. Make sure it’s washable instead of disposable.
- Vacuum the filter at a low setting. Run up and down the filter to get rid of grime and dust.
- Wash the filter in lukewarm water. Use a small amount of liquid detergent if necessary.
- Spray with diluted vinegar to disinfect the filter. Let air dry.
Once your filter is dry, put it back in place. Be careful and make sure not to press too hard on this delicate part.
Another thing you can do to maintain the AC unit yourself is by cleaning the fin. Air conditioner fins keep the unit works efficiently. The cleaning method depends on the type, either outside condenser fins or inside evaporator fins.
Let’s focus on the evaporator fins located inside the interior. Cleaning this part is pretty easy and quick as follows:
- Remove the cover and locate the evaporator fins.
- Use a fin comb to straighten any bent fins.
- Apply self-rinsing cleaner. If necessary, use a nylon-bristle brush to remove the debris.
There is no need to wait for a professional to clean the AC vents. If you think the vents are already dirty, you can clean it yourself with basic tools and materials. Simply prepare shop vacuum, screwdriver, soap solution, and bristle brush.
The steps below will help you out:
- Turn off the AC unit.
- Unscrew the grilles from the ceiling or wherever it’s attached.
- Attach the brush to the shop vacuum and clean thoroughly.
- Use a soap solution to get rid of stubborn dust and grime.
- Reattach the grilles.
The Drain Line
The drain line is another part to clean by yourself. Fortunately, the dirty drain line can be cleaned with vinegar! You don’t need to call a professional, simply follow the instructions below:
- Locate the AC drain line.
- Identify the access point.
- Flush with diluted vinegar. You can also change with dish soap or hydrogen peroxide.
- Allow sitting for 30 minutes. Flush the drain out.
The procedure can be repeated each month to prevent germs and bacteria buildup.
How to Clean Air Conditioner Unit Outside
Before cooling season, you should clean the AC unit outside to get rid of debris, dust, and grime. Cleaning this unit can be done quickly, as long as you know what to do. Pay attention to a few steps below:
- Turn the unit off.
- Use hand gloves to remove visible debris.
- Gently vacuum the condenser fins. Use soft-brush attachment for more effective results.
- Spray with water to clean thoroughly.
Apply coil cleaner and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water.
Do’s and dont’s Cleaning Air Conditioner
Do you think cleaning the AC unit is tricky? Remembering pretty pennies you can save by regular maintenance and cleaning the unit is not a big deal. To make your project easier, get to know the following dos and don’ts.
Things that you should do :
- Make a regular cleaning schedule
- Maintain refrigerant level
- Turn off the power before cleaning
- Use commercial cleaner for fins
Things you shouldn’t do :
- Don’t mount window air conditioner with brick or wood.
- Don’t use a pressure washer.
- Do not use an extension cord.
- Don’t use a sharp object when cleaning the unit.
A clean air conditioner delivers fresh and healthy airflow. After knowing how to clean air conditioner yourself, no need to call a pro only to clean the fins or drain line.