How to clean a window air conditioner without removing it? [ Guide ]


One of the questions that people often ask me is how to clean a window air conditioner without removing it. Let us be honest. 🙂

The process of cleaning a window AC is a dreadful task for many, and things tend to get much more complicated for people who aren’t aware of how this works.

After spending so many years in the HVAC manufacturing sector, it is obvious that my knowledge is somewhat helpful for those who haven’t cleaned an AC unit for long.

To ease your pain, I’ve decided to explain to you the process of how to clean window AC unit.

And that’s not the end of the story, as I am also going to decode how to clean window ac unit without removing.

The reason why I am choosing this topic is because cleaning an AC unit without removing it from its place is one of the trickiest affairs that AC owners come across.

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Why should you clean your AC unit?

Before starting, it’s important to consider the vitality of cleaning your window-mounted air conditioning system at regular intervals.

After weeks of usage, the vents and the pipeline inside the AC unit often gets clogged.

This might restrict the unit from performing at its best.

It’s crucial that you take away the filter out of the system and get it cleaned, especially before the cooling season arrives. 

During the summer months, we tend to use the AC unit more frequently than ever. And that calls for some extensive care.

People often have a misconception that when not in use, the AC units don’t require to be treated as importantly as one would treat them during the months of heavy usage.

In reality, this is not true and often it’s just the opposite of what you may think.

From an expert’s perspective,

I would recommend you to keep your AC units covered with a plastic sheet during the winter months or during the time frame when you don’t use these machines.

The cover would allow the AC units to remain untouched and would also ensure that none of the impurities gets into the system, which otherwise would have hampered the unit’s performance in later months.

I also recommend that after every season, you must ask for some professional assistance.

Call up your AC repair expert and ask him to visit your home for the purpose of disassembling the window ac unit and cleaning of its remotest parts.

However, for ensuring the top-notch performance of your ac unit all year round, you must take adequate personal cleaning initiatives.

Let’s not spend more time and dive directly into our topic.

Learn BTU Air Conditioner.

How to save money on AC maintenance Tips
How to save money on AC maintenance Tips

How to clean window ac unit without removing it from the wall?

There are numerous instances when you might notice that something’s not right with your window-mounted air conditioning unit.

It is obvious that after some months of usage, all electronic products tend to depreciate and guess what; your beloved AC unit doesn’t escape such a fate.

Well, at this point, most of you might start thinking about the bad investment you have made while choosing the ac unit for your domestic or commercial usage.

However, let me assure you that even the best-in-class AC machines get degraded over time and might show signs of lack of optimal performance.

In this scenario, you can follow two paths.

The first one would be to call up an expert and ask him to get things sorted on your behalf.

However, more often than not, calling up for expert assistance might not seem to be the perfect idea for many household owners.

In such a situation, you can perform the maintenance task on your own.

When it comes to cleaning the AC unit on their own, most people face challenges regarding the disassembling process as well as the moment of putting back the parts together for continued performance.

However, let me assure you that after reading this article, you would become accustomed to the process of cleaning your AC without worrying too much.

In fact, I will train you on how to ensure that your cleaning initiatives bear the best fruits possible.

How to Clean window Air Conditioner?

In this regard, it is worth noting that today, most AC units don’t require to be removed from its place.

Nevertheless, in case you own an older version of these cooling units, things might get a bit different.

In those scenarios, you might require removing the unit from its position and perform some extensive cooling duties. Let’s get started!

First of all, let’s make an honest statement.

You wouldn’t require the services of an expert technician every time you require to clean your AC unit.

Except for servicing purposes, you can generally carry out the entire cleaning task on your own.

As you would agree,

a lack of proper and regular maintenance leads to maximum chances of AC breakdown.

And that would call for frequent technician visits at your home.

However, if you ensure cleaning the device every week or so, you wouldn’t require spending unjustified amounts of money for expert inspection processes.

In fact, you make sure that the window-mounted AC that you own stays in its best possible shape and generates performance of its lifetime.

 Let me show you how:

The Resources you would need

For cleaning your air conditioning unit properly, you would require to get a hold of these things as mentioned below:

  • Running tap water
  • A dry towel
  • A soap solution or Detergent
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • A Bucket full of Water
  • A Spray Bottle

Now that you have gathered all of the required cleaning means, it’s time to simply jump into the process without a second’s delay.

air-conditioner cleaning

Process of regular cleaning of your AC

As we have already mentioned above, the more frequent cleaning schedules you set for cleaning your AC unit, the better performances you can expect from these devices throughout the year.

I would recommend that you take out some time on a daily basis for the purpose of cleaning your AC unit.

Assuming that you wish to keep your air conditioning machine in its optimal shape, here I have listed the procedure of minimal cleaning that you should perform everyday or every other day.

  • First of all, fill up the spray bottle with some amounts of hydrogen peroxide.


  • Make sure that you turn your ac unit off and remove the plugs from the sockets. If possible, ensure that you restrict power supply; otherwise, even the slightest of connections between water and electricity might wreak havoc to your domestic premises.


  • It’s time to gently spray the hydrogen peroxide into the intake area. In this regard, it’s my responsibility to war you about the consequences of inhaling the solution and thus, you should stay away from it. I highly recommend that you invest in a high-quality mask from ensuring optimum protection from this deadly chemical. Also ensure that once the cleaning process is completed, you wash your hands thoroughly with an effective soap. For better protection, use a pair of industry-grade gloves.


  • Make sure that you offer enough time to the ac unit to dry off, before putting together its parts once again. The best time to perform the cleaning procedure would be during the dark of the night. This would ensure that the next day when you wake up, the AC unit would be ready to start working the way you wanted it to.


  • There are instances when you might feel that the spray wasn’t able to clean the units effectively. If such a scenario is evident, you might require performing some deep-cleaning measures. You can do this simply by removing the filter and spraying onto it. Always ensure that you clean the filters thoroughly, first using a wet towel and then a dry one to make sure no droplets of water are left behind that can react with electricity once the system is restored.


  • Last but not the least; don’t ever turn on the ac unit unless it completely dries off. Otherwise, the hydrogen peroxide might destroy the AC unit because of its condensation effects. 

Monthly AC cleaning is important

As we are done with the process involving regular cleaning, let’s discuss the monthly ac cleaning procedure that you should be accustomed to.

With monthly cleaning, it is an obvious fact that the AC unit would accumulate lots of dust into its systems because of the lack of a regular cleaning procedure.

In such a scenario, ensure following the steps that I have listed below:

  • Turn off your AC unit. Under no conditions you should ignore this one. Failing to turn off your AC before the actual cleaning process would expose you to electrical shocks, which sometimes can prove to be fatal ones.


  • It’s now time to get access to the filter. For that purpose, you must remove the AC unit’s front panel. Most AC brands accompany their front panels with screws or tabs that allow the users to detach the system and get the filter out for cleaning or replacement purposes. Although most ac units follow some uniform industry standards, you should refer to the user manual for a more controlled approach. Following the user guide also ensures that you don’t accidentally damage the internal parts of the ac units.


  • Now, it’s time to dip the towel into the soap solution or detergent.


  • Use running tap water for cleaning the filter. Or you can also hold the filter below the tap so that the water can do the cleaning automatically without you needing to apply any extensive force.


  • Sometimes, the filter; depending on the lack of appropriate periodical cleaning, might get clogged with excessive amounts of dirt or dust. In that case, your AC unit has accumulated massive amounts of dust or environmental dirt; consider using a vacuum hose for removing the impurities.


  • Now, dry off the filter and put it back to its original position. Wipe out the excess water content using a dry towel. Let me remind you that putting a wet filter into the unit can cause catastrophes that you would want to avoid at all costs.


  • In case the filter is worn out, ensure that you completely replace it. This would able your air conditioning unit to perform at its best. In case you are not sure which filter should work perfect for you, always choose the brand that your ac is manufactured by. Using a filter of a different brand might not bring the best possible results.


  • Make sure that you clean your filter at least once every month to keep complicated issues at bay. Adhering to a monthly cleaning routine would also ensure that your money is saved in the long term.

usa air conditioner cleaning

What you must know about seasonal ac cleaning?

We are done with regular and monthly ac cleaning procedures.

It’s time for me to unveil the seasonal cleaning technique to ensure that your AC units work better.

However, let me remind you that only seasonal cleaning routine shall be unable to keep your AC unit in the best possible shape.

It would also restrict the unit from performing at its best.

So, besides seasonal cleaning cycle, ensure that you carry out regular cleaning routine.

  • First of all, you should disconnect the AC unit from the main power source. Once it’s done, now remove the case by getting rid of all the possible screws.


  • Use warm water for cleaning the case. It would be best to clean the unit case using a detergent solution and towel.


  • Now, ensure removing the filter and make sure you follow the user manual for better control of events.


  • While cleaning the aluminum fins, ensure that you wear some protective gears such as cleaning gloves. I want to warn you about the danger associated with these fins. If you don’t pay attention to this particular point, you might end up damaging your fingers.


  • Now, carefully spray the hydrogen peroxide content onto the coils and fins and wipe off the surface to ensure eradication of all the dust particles.


  • Again, make sure that this particular part of your ac unit is completely dry, before considering putting it back to its original position.

How to clean a window air conditioner mold?

Mold formation comes with a cost and that might involve degradation of the health of your loved ones.

Often, mold tends to grow in hidden areas, especially within your ac units. This is mainly because of the lack of attention to this particular space.

Keep reading:

For the successful removal of mold from your air conditioning unit, you need to gather the following supplies:

  • Water
  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • Bleach
  • Mild dish soap
  • A piece of cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • A screwdriver
  • A vacuum cleaner 

air conditioner mold

Mold removal process from your AC unit

You can remove molds from the ac with some easy steps that I have mentioned below. Let’s quickly go through the procedure:

  • It’s a mandatory practice to put on the required safety gears before indulging into the mold removal process. This is mainly because getting contaminated by mold can bring upon some serious health hazards, which you should avoid by all means. Invest in a good pair of protective gloves, a mask as well as eyewear.


  • Turn off your air conditioner and ensure unplugging the AC unit from the power source.


  • Pull out the front body grille of the ac unit. In most cases, you can easily do this by gently pulling the grille forward and simultaneously pushing it down slightly. However, some of the AC units might require you to use screwdrivers for attaining the job. In those scenarios, you know what to do, right?


  • Now, take the filter out of the ac unit. In case the filter seems to be a disposable one, make sure that you replace them with a newer one. For more information, consider checking out the user manual that comes with the ac unit.


  • In case the filter is a washable one, make sure that you clean it thoroughly under running tap water and get rid of all the possible dirt content. You may use some laundry detergent for this purpose.


  • In case, a considerable amount of mold is formed on the surface of the filter, make sure to use a high-quality scrub for eliminating the mold traces using a brush.


  • Now, it’s time to make sure of your vacuum cleaner for sucking out debris, dirt, and mold from the interiors of your ac unit.


  • Now prepare a mixture of 1 tablespoon dish soap, ½ cup bleach, and 3 gallons of warm water in your bucket.


  • Now, get a hold of a dry towel and soak it in the above-mentioned solution before gently applying it onto the AC’s interior section and leave it for 10 mi natures approximately.


  • Rinse the surface using a damp cloth. By now, you should get rid of the maximum amount of mold.


  • Ensure that the entire AC unit, including the filter, metal cover, and grill is completely dried before reassembling the entire system.

How long to let air conditioner dry after cleaning?

Now, let us shift our focus to one of the other important questions that people ask me all the time.

As you have mentioned multiple times before that it’s extremely vital to let your air conditioner parts dry appropriately after the cleaning process, before you can reassemble them.

But what comes out to be a major concern is the amount of time required to completely dry off the air conditioner.

Well, in this regard, I want to tell you that there’s no standard time frame associated with the drying process of your air conditioner parts.

It depends on the humidity levels in your area as well as the climate.

In colder climates, the drying process might take a bit longer, which can even extend depending upon the amount of moisture present in the atmosphere; humidity.

In comparison, dry areas shall minimize the amount of time required for this drying process.

You must ensure that none of the AC parts are wet and if needed, you might want to leave the unit overnight and let them dry completely.

You might also want to use a heater for eradicating traces of moisture from your ac parts.

As you can see, the process of AC cleaning is not that much difficult as it seems.

HVAC Myths Busted

HVAC Myths Busted
HVAC Myths Busted

However, you need to follow all the steps that I have listed above to ensure optimum performance of your AC units over a longer period. 

Let’s pack up for now.

Hope to see you again in our next discussion. Till then, take utmost care of your AC units and yourselves.

Are you going to try above steps?

Or maybe you want to share your any information.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Cheers 🙂

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