How to Clean Your Window AC Unit So Your Home Stays Cool This Summer

When the weather began warming up this year, I noticed something alarming (to me, at least). The window air conditioners were not as efficient as in the past. Chicago is experiencing a sweltering summer for this season and will continue to get hotter.

How to Clean a Window AC Unit

Clean every window AC unit at least once per year. The filter is cleaned more frequently and replaced every three to six months. Before you begin cleaning, get the necessary tools, such as gloves, screwdriver, vacuum, and cloth, and then find the AC unit’s instruction manual (for specific directions or warnings). Follow the steps below to ensure your AC’s window unit is spotless.

I am blessed with air conditioning units, so I can enjoy a hot summer that does not bother me. This is why I did something I’ve never done as a tenant: cleaning the windows was ugly, but it made a world of difference in my house. It’s a good idea to wash yours today, too. Here’s how you clean the window AC unit.

How Often You Should Clean Your Window AC Unit

Overall, windows are recommended to be cleaned at least once per year. However, this may not suffice based on your environment, says Sarah Sokolowski, president and vice-president of AspenClean AspenClean. This company offers all-natural and chemical-free cleaning solutions.

“The frequency of cleaning may vary depending on factors such as the environment, usage, and air quality,” she explains. “If you live in a dusty area or use your AC unit frequently, you may need to clean it more often.”

It’s a pretty good suggestion, given all the smoke from wildfires floating in the air recently. For clarity, “annual maintenance” refers to the whole window unit and every component. The filter in the unit Sokolowski states that the filter is to be changed every one to three months.

Do You Have to Remove a Window AC Unit Before Cleaning It?

This is fantastic news for those who reside in larger homes. The rule is that you don’t have to remove the entire unit to wash it.

“Most window AC units are designed to be cleaned in place,” Sokolowski states. “However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for your particular model.”

It’s perfect because I’m on the 2nd floor, and wooden panels permanently fix the windows. The only issue with this is that I cannot get to the exterior of the building without using a high ladder, which I don’t have. Don’t be concerned about it if you cannot take the unit from the exterior of it. I could not do the same, but the cleaning still was successful.

What You’ll Need

The initial step for any task — cleaning or not involves assembling the appropriate tools. Here’s how to take care of your window AC units.

Cleansing gloves (optional but helpful).

Attachments and vacuum cleaner.

Fin comb or soft brush.

Dish soap or a different cleaner, such as one made from all-natural ingredients.

Bucket, tub, hose, or kitchen sink.

Wipe or clean cloth.

Long sleeves and face masks (optional but helpful if you suffer from allergies to dust).

How to Clean a Window AC Unit

Here are the steps that Sokolowski suggests you follow for cleaning windows and AC units.

Switch off the power and disconnect the window unit

Electricity and water don’t mix. Make sure you disconnect it before beginning cleaning.

Take off the cover on the front

The front cover of my unit won’t fall off entirely. It just opens and stays there. However, you might need this screwdriver to remove your unit’s front panel. After removing the cover, it will be possible to access the filter and all coils quickly.

Disconnect your filter and scrub it

My filter could slide out of the unit, but read the instruction manual on how to get it out. You might be shocked at how dirty the filter is. I certainly was. To cleanse it, attempt vacuuming the filter (which was ineffective on my filters, thanks to pets) or wash it using the cleansing solution and water. I passed my filter in the tub and used a toothbrush to scrub off the dirt gently. After it’s cleaned, lay the towel out and let it dry. It must dry completely before putting it back into the unit that houses windows.

Cleanse the coils

When your filter is drying, wash the coils. Use a fin comb or soft brush to lightly scrub away dust, dirt, or other debris. I decided to use the makeup brush, and it was perfect. After that, you can vacuum up the remaining makeup. Using the brush attachment to scrub the coils is also possible as long as you’re not too rough.

If you can get to the outside, you can clean those condenser coils

If you can comfortably access the exterior window, then you ought to consider this step. Removing any initial debris, leaves, or twigs using a soft brush is recommended.

Wash all surfaces of the device

Utilizing a damp, moist sponge or cloth, wipe down the surfaces both outside and inside to eliminate any dirt or dust. You don’t want any water inside the coils, soensuret the sponge or cloth is wholly damp and not dripping at any point.

Install the device

It took approximately one hour to wash both of our window units. The filters took time to dry, so, you can scrub everything and do something else for a bit before rebuilding the team. Don’t forget to include this chore in your regular maintenance checklist!

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