Cleaning a Window Air Conditioner- Without Removing it 

Air conditioners are a necessity of life nowadays. No one can imagine living without this. It seems that it becomes important like a part of the body.  Moreover, no human being can tolerate the heat of the summer season due to so much climatic changes in the environment for the last couple of decades. So, air conditioner that was considered as an unnecessary item is now considered as one of the basic amenities at home. 

Window Air Conditioners are the best example and mostly used with the best cooling effect. Just like everything they also need cleaning from time to time. Window Air Conditioners are the lifesavers for those people who live in large and high buildings having apartments with less ventilation. So, with lack of ventilation how can we get rid of this heat of summer? The answer is simple, that is with Windows Air Conditioner.

Windows Air Conditioner

The best part about it is that this unit is quite easier to clean and maintain than the standard HVAC unit in a home. It is a heavy unit and is the best for proper air conditioning but due to its so heavy body, can we clean it without removing it? This is the most frequently asked question. So, the answer to this is a big YES.

This article is all about how to clean your windows air conditioner without removing it. Give this article a few minutes to read and you will get all the things straight in your mind that how is it important to clean your Window Air Conditioner, what type of repairing tools you need when you plan to clean it and the benefits of cleaning it. Except this, you will also get to know when you should need to call some professional to have it checked and cleaned.

Importance of Cleaning of Windows Air Conditioner

Importance of Cleaning of Windows Air Conditioner

Just like every device and appliance, Windows Air Conditioners need cleaning and maintenance. So, to do that you need some tools and a proper technique on how to do it without removing it. If you live in a cold place, then this is not the task you have to do in the middle of winter. You can clean it later in springs too so a delay in time is acceptable here.

The Requirement of Manual

Every appliance or device always comes with a manual or instruction book. Just look for your Window Air conditioner manual and follow the steps accordingly. In case, you do not have a manual so just chill. You can open google and search for the manual online by just entering the model number of your Windows Air Conditioner.

Tool’s Requirement to Clean the Window Air Conditioner without removing it.

  1. A bucket or big container or a sink that can be filled with hot soapy water for cleaning purposes. As for the parts of windows, the air conditioner will be cleaned with soapy warm water for the best care of them.
  2. A soft brush or a comb that is available at your home or a spare one that you do not use.
  3. A vacuum should have a very soft brush attachment so that it will not cause any harm to the parts of your air conditioner while cleaning.
  4. A screwdriver that can be used to loosen or tighten the screws while in the cleaning process.
  5. Clothes that can get dry easily without any issue.
  6. Spray bottle to spray warm soapy water to the internal parts of Window Air Conditioner to clean them. Get 2 drops of dish detergent too.
  7. Newspapers to go underneath your windows air conditioning unit.
  8. You also need gloves to protect your hands and fingers from the sharp edges and pointed parts.
  9. Better to get a small container or small box where you can keep all the screws that you removed from the Windows Air Conditioner during cleaning.

The Process to Clean your Windows Air Conditioner

  • The first step you need to take care of is to unplug the unit from the wall outlet without removing it. While cleaning, you may touch different parts of your Window Air Conditioner, so it is better to follow some safety guidelines by removing the power so as not to be electrocuted.
  • On the front, you will see a grill on your Windows Air Conditioner. You need to remove it carefully and take out the filter that is just behind this grill. It is very important to change the filter from time to time. The recommended time to change the filter is every 1-3 months in a large HVAC unit if you have someone who is a smoker at your place. While in a normal standard or a small unit, you need to check it every 30 days if it is blocked by the dirt.
  • Once you remove the filter, just soak it in the soapy water that you took in the bucket and after you are done. Just let it dry for some time. You may also check if the filter needs replacement. If you feel like replacing the filter, then you need to check for the manual of your Window Air Conditioner so that you can check the proper size and get it. As in the market, there are a lot of different sized filters available and those too with different shapes, so you need to check and get one according to the model you have.
  • The air filter keeps the air clean, so it is always best to check it promptly in small units too if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Due to new technology, there are a lot of units available nowadays where you will get Filter Rest Button and with this, you will get to know when to change the filter.
  • Now, you need to take off the case from the Air Conditioning Unit. You must have screwdrivers to take the case off. After taking it off you will see a lot of other small removable parts and you can remove them to clean. Use the soapy warm water spray and clean them with a dry soft cloth to dry them before inserting them back in.
  • You can also soak them in the bucket containing the soapy warm water that you took previously. Let them be there for the next couple of minutes till they loosen up all the dirt accumulated on them. Now get them out from that bucket and clean with a dry cloth or set them aside to let them dry. You need to take care of the drain pan to clean as it is very important. So that mold does not start growing from the water resting in the pan.
  • After cleaning all the parts, here come the internal parts of your Windows Air Conditioner that you cannot remove, and you need to clean them without removing the unit. This time, that soapy warm water spray will be of great use. To clean the inside parts of the Window Air Conditioner, use the vacuum with a small soft brush attached to it.
  • Carefully use it and expel out all the small dust particles or small dirt accumulated in the internal parts that happen when high-speed winds are flowing as the unit is Window Air Conditioner. Small dirt particles need small space, so the purpose is served by the high-speed wind, and they reach the internal parts of the unit.
  • Now you need to mix 2-3 drops of dish detergent with water. You can fill it in a spray bottle and spray it inside the air conditioner to clean the internal parts. Once you spray it, do not let it dry, just wipe it with a soft dry cloth to remove all the dirt from them. While cleaning, make sure you clean the edges and fines too. Before cleaning fines, do not forget to wear gloves so the edges or fines will not hurt your hands or fingers at all. You can also use a fin comb to serve the purpose too. Just need to make sure that the fins are straight.
  • Cleaning of Condenser Coils is also very important. There is a covering on the backside of your Windows Air Conditioner, and it can be removed as well. So, you need to remove it and once done, you will see condenser coils there. The backside covering is to protect the unit from the weather, but it also needs cleaning as dirt can accumulate inside it as well.
  • You can use the spray bottle, spray the water and detergent mixture to these coils to clean them up. Once you spray the mixture, let it dry then it will take some time to let that grime properly mixed with it and then you can wipe the dirt with a soft cloth. This is the most effective way to clean your Windows Air Conditioner without removing it. 

Reassembling your Windows Air Conditioner

Reassembling your Windows Air Conditioner

As you have cleaned all the internal parts and everything, now it is time to reassemble the things in the unit. For this, you need the manual. Get it and check how to put the correct part at the correct place. Also, before inserting all the parts in, make sure that the whole internal portion and every part is dry else it will lead to the birth of mold inside your Windows Air Conditioner.

What are the Benefits of Cleaning your Windows Air Conditioner? 

  1. When you clean your Windows Air Conditioner, you will feel a new version of it. When it is dirty the air filter may not be able to give filtered air, and this may lead to the poor performance of the Air Conditioner as well as low efficiency. This may not provide the fresh air as well in the room and you will feel suffocating too. If someone smokes at the place where the Air Conditioner is installed, then it may clog the airflow inside the room and cause breathing issues. So cleaning is necessary, and the benefits are to provide the pure airflow from the Air Conditioner. This will also help in the smooth running of the machine as if the dirt would have accumulated then it needs to work hard to get the air pass-through. So, cleaning will also make your machine work for a longer time and without the need for repairs too often.
  2. Fins are a very important part of the Air Conditioner to pass the air. So, use a fin comb to clean the fins and to manage their direction to pass the air properly and as straight as possible.
  3. When you clean your Air Conditioner from time to time then it will make it reliable in many aspects. The dirt will not block the working of the machine being a serious obstacle. Moreover, the cleaning part will also be very beneficial in the way as it will help you to find the mold if that is going to be there, beforehand. This will help you to check if the water is leaking out of the internal parts and causing mold to form. You can act against it right away and this way the air conditioner will have a longer life than the one you never cleaned. Water leaking is a threat all the time with the machine if it must work without cleaning. But it is wise to check it from time to time. If you find that the water is leaking, then you need to check the manual that why it is happening and from where it is doing that. Then act accordingly and if a professional is needed, just call one and get it fixed. Water leaking will also cause more humidity in the room and health issues so better to check and fix this before any further harm.

Here the question that arises while cleaning your Windows Air Conditioner is when to repair it and when to replace it. This is not a pain anymore. Let us have a look at some aspects that will help you to understand that when to repair it and when to replace it.

If you have an HVAC professional or have an air conditioner that is more than 8 years old, then it is time to change it and purchase a new one. You can check on Amazon or Walmart for the best and budget-friendly Windows Air Conditioner for you. They cost nearly $200-$1000 depending on the size and model of the Air Conditioner and it depends on the brand you are purchasing.

Some More things you Need to Consider:

As we all know that white color rusts fast. So, it is the best thing to have a colorful or shaded unit as it will not be rusted faster.

If you are planning to go on a long vacation and you have decided not to use it for some longer time, then just take it out from the outer covering and place it inside your home by covering it with some piece of cloth or special covers that are available in the market. This will help you to save it from the weather elements and this way it will increase the life of your Windows Air Conditioner.

If you think that it is too difficult to clean your Windows Air Conditioner while it is placed and installed in windows without removing it, you can remove it whole as well and can clean it as per your comfort level, but it will not be a difficult task at all to clean it while it is installed, and you need not remove it.

Just follow the above steps and take care of the things mentioned and you will be fine. Because if you remove it properly and clean, it will be very time consuming and need a lot of effort. So, better to clean when it is already there on the window than to uninstall it properly and clean it.

How Do you Know When you Should need a Professional?

While cleaning the Windows Air Conditioner you may see if there is any wear and tear with the machine. If it is too old that is hanging, there and after certain cleaning rounds in a couple of months it is still not performing well, and you may sense that it has some part that needs to be changed.

It may be the air filter or the net that is in the front part of the coils due to water leaking and the occurrence of molds. This can be checked and validated by the professional only so better to call a professional to get it done for you. As you may check the manual and clean it being just a fresher in this or like any other material but the whole ins and outs will only be possible for the professional to find out. 

They also know how to get that fault to throw out to save the machine and to improve the performance. So, it is time to call a professional and get this fixed.

Final Words

As you have already spent your golden time, reading this article so thank you for this. You are now a complete package with a lot of information about the Windows Air Conditioner, cleaning tips. Moreover, you are aware of the different techniques to clean every part and with no special tool or equipment.

The best part about the Windows Air Conditioners is that they are the best source of cooling for your room and cost-effective. They are so easily manageable and no very hard efforts to clean them up. The perfect summer partner to have easy cleaning as well without removing it properly from the window. 

So just follow the above tips, follow the manual, and clean your Windows Air Conditioner anytime without professional and without removing it.

 Happy Cleaning, Happy Healthy Cooling!

Mila Patel

Mila Patel is an expert in consumer technology and household appliances who earned her degree in industrial design from Georgia Tech. She brings over a decade of experience from her time at Consumer Reports and as a freelance product reviewer. Her professional journey includes working with major appliance manufacturers and contributing to home improvement magazines. Her hobbies include interior design and staying updated with smart home trends. She also enjoys cooking and experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets in her free time.

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