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How To Clean A Window Air Conditioner

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Window air conditioners are a type of air conditioner that can be easily installed in most rooms, making them ideal for small homes and apartments where central cooling systems are not feasible or affordable. Like all air conditioners, the moisture that window air conditioners produce can cause mold and mildew to grow in the appliance if not properly maintained. Thankfully, there are several basic steps that you can do to keep your window air conditioner clean and functioning properly.

What You'll Need

Before you start, check to make sure that you have all the tools and materials that you'll be using. You'll need a spray bottle, lint-free rags, an air conditioner fin comb, a vacuum cleaner, a replacement filter, a bucket, a soft brush, a screwdriver, and air conditioner coil cleaner (sometimes called foaming cleaner). All of these items can be found at most hardware stores if you don't already have them. You may also want to wear a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

Cleaning a Window Air Conditioner

The first thing you need to do is unplug your air conditioner before you start working on it to stay safe.

Next, you'll want to use a rag soaked in warm water to wipe down the exterior of the unit, removing as much grime and dirt as possible. Then, remove the cover of the unit (this can either be done by hand or by unscrewing the faceplate with a screwdriver).

Then, you'll want to remove the filter from its casing and dispose of it. If you don't know the right type of replacement filter, you can just take the old one into a hardware store to match a replacement to it.

Next, take the vacuum and remove any dust and other debris which may be inside the air conditioner.

Mix the coil cleaning solution according to the directions on the bottle with water in the spray bottle. Then spray it onto the coils, allowing a thin layer to form, and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the solution has sunk in, dump a small amount of warm water out of the bucket over the coils to rinse it away: take care to keep the water flowing away from the electrical components within the air conditioner.

Use one of the lint-free rags to clean away any dirt on the interior of the unit: then, take the fin comb and straighten any bent fins by drawing the comb up slowly and firmly from the base of the fin to the top.

Once all the fins have been straightened, you can reattach the casing for your window air conditioning unit and then start it up again so that it can continue cooling down your house as intended.