Though you use your AC unit nearly every day during the summer, how often do you take the time to clean it? If you’re like most homeowners, you spend more than 10 hours on housework every single week. The key to cutting down on the amount of time you spend cleaning and maintaining your house is knowing exactly what you’re doing. If you’re wondering how to clean a window AC unit, you’re not alone.

Here’s your step-by-step guide to make the process simple, fast, and painless.

Clean the Filter

Every air conditioner has a filter that helps remove contaminants like mold, dust, and pollen from the air before it reaches your home. The more you use your window AC unit, the dirtier that filter will be.

Remove the filter from the unit. If it’s disposable, you’ll want to replace it with a new filter.

If it’s reusable, soak the filter in warm soapy water for at least 15 minutes. This will get rid of the dirt and grime. Rinse the filter well and let it dry before putting it back in your unit.

It’s best to do this at least once every three months. However, if you’re using your window AC unit daily, you may want to clean your filter once every few weeks. Get in the habit of checking it for buildup and clean or replace it as needed.

Vacuum Inside the Unit

Grab your vacuum and its soft-bristled attachments and remove the front casing of your AC unit. Use the vacuum to get rid of any dirt and dust that’s collected inside the air conditioner.

Don’t be afraid to get close to the components in the unit. As long as you’re gentle, you won’t damage them.

Once the interior is clean, use the vacuum to get rid of any dust bunnies and dirt that collected on the exterior casing. This will help keep your indoor air quality as high as possible and reduces the likelihood of mold or mildew growth popping up in the vents.

You can also vacuum the dust and dirt off the fins on the back of your unit. Avoid touching the fins with your hands or vacuum attachments as they’re very sharp.

Clean Stubborn Dirt and Grime with Soap

After vacuuming the air conditioner, you’ll be able to see how much dirt is stuck to the walls, coils, and components. After you identify the problem areas, you’ll want to scrub away the buildup.

Add a bit of dish soap to a bucket and fill it with warm water. You need less than you think. A tablespoon or two for every three gallons of water you use will be plenty.

After the soap dissolves, use a scrub brush or cleaning cloth to wipe away the grime inside. Don’t worry about getting the unit too wet. Soap and water won’t hurt the components as long as you remembered to turn off the unit and unplugged it from the wall outlet.

Inspect the exterior casing after you clean the inside of the unit. Look for dark specks on the plastic and scrub them away with soapy water. If they’re stuck on or leave stains behind, dilute a small amount of bleach in water and wipe the casing down. This will get rid of any remaining mold spores so they can’t spread throughout the rest of the unit.

After you’ve gotten rid of the dirt, rinse the unit down with clean water.

Comb the Fins

The fins on the back of your AC unit are very thin and can get damaged easily just from regular use. When the fins get bent, they won’t be able to shield your air conditioner from debris and plant matter.

Inspect the fins carefully. If they’re straight and you don’t see any large gaps between sections, they’re in good shape. However, if they’re bent or bowing in toward the interior of the unit, you’ll need to straighten them out.

You will need to buy a fin comb. These are available at most local hardware stores. Choose a brush that’s rated for your size unit and gently lift the bent sections back into alignment.

Let Everything Dry Out

Once everything is clean, you’ll need to reassemble your newly clean window AC unit, but before you do, it needs to be dry.

Give the components time to dry out completely before you start putting the unit back together. You can leave it in a sunny spot to speed the drying process if needed.

Leave It to a Pro

Understanding how to clean a window air conditioner is one thing. Actually doing it yourself is another.

The process can take hours if you’re not familiar with it and there’s always the risk that you’ll end up missing a key step when you try to reassemble the unit after it’s clean. Instead of handling it on your own, you can always leave it to a professional cleaning service.

They’ll make sure the system gets cleaned and reassembled properly so the unit will work well even on the hottest summer afternoon.

Now You Know How to Clean a Window AC Unit

Keeping your home’s air conditioning unit clean is the best way to make sure it lasts for as long as possible. However, just because you know how to clean a window AC unit, doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself.

Instead, hire a professional and let them clean and reassemble your unit for you. You’ll save time and won’t have to worry about whether you did everything right the first time.

If you’re ready to simplify your home cleaning process, don’t wait. Contact us today to book an appointment and let our team keep your home clean.