DIY Tip: 4 Steps to Cleaning Your Window Air Conditioner
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DIY Tip: 4 Steps to Cleaning Your Window Air Conditioner

If your window or single-room air conditioning unit isn’t cooling effectively, it can be worrisome. Like most major appliances, air conditioners tend to fall victim to malfunction and broken parts. But you don’t need to panic right away. A simple cleaning of your AC unit might solve your problems without the need for a big fix.

If you think your window air conditioner might need a deep clean, carefully unplug and uninstall the unit. Then follow these five steps to a cleaner unit. 

  • First, you’ll need to gather the necessary cleaning tools. A fin comb, heavy-duty gloves, and air conditioner unit coil cleaner (available at most hardware stores) will need to be purchased. In addition, you will need access to a vacuum (or shop vac), a vinyl bristle brush, a household cleaner, and a cleaning rag.
  • Using the fin comb, gently pull in an upward motion to straighten the fins of the unit. You will want to wear leather or heavy-duty gloves during this step to prevent scrapes and cuts, as the fins are typically quite sharp. Be sure to match the cooling fins with the appropriate size fin comb to keep from damaging the fins.
  • Clean out debris by vacuuming any visible dust or residue on the coils. Once the debris has been cleaned out, use the air conditioner unit coil cleaner over both coils, and allow for a few minutes to let the foam set in. If the foam doesn’t seem to be cutting the buildup enough, use your bristle brush to gently scrub in the direction of the fins.
  • Check the fan motor, being extremely cautious to avoid potential danger. The best products to use to clean the fan motor are everyday household cleaners and a rag.
  • Last but not least, wash or replace the air filter, depending on what’s included in your unit.
  • Professional air conditioning service

    If you follow these five steps, you should find your air conditioner running more efficiently, providing more regular cold air. If your AC unit is still struggling to keep up with demand, you might have bigger issues at play. Window air conditioners aren’t designed to last forever, and it’s usually not cost-effective to repair them.

    If you want the best comfort in your house, you may want to consider installing a central air conditioning or ductless mini-split system. These types of systems provide numerous advantages over window units or single-room ACs. For a professional consultation and estimate, call Robert B. Payne at (540) 373-5876.

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