A step-by-step guide on how to clean your air conditioner

A daunting task that you can do with some guidance

A step-by-step guide on how to clean your air conditioner

Unlike most home appliances, an AC requires a lot of maintenance and regular cleanup to keep it performing like new. But they aren’t as easy to clean as say a ceiling fan, which can be wiped with a cloth. ACs require thorough cleaning on the outside and inside, which can seem like a daunting task. You can always call a professional to do it for you, but if you want to get your hands dirty, here’s our detailed guide on how to clean you AC.

Before you start

1. You should go through the user’s manual given by the manufacturer to know if you need to keep anything special in mind while cleaning up. It will also give you a good idea about opening the different outer panels of both units.

2. Another thing you should do is unplug both the units. Switch off the MCB, which connects to the AC to be sure about it.

3. Make sure you have proper tools like an air blower, soft brush, and cleaning agents to name a few. Feel free to contact a professional for help if, during any step, you feel you need assistance.

4. Do not use any form of alcohol-based cleaning agent as they are highly flammable.

5. Whenever in doubt, always follow the user manual.

Things you will need to clean your split AC

Before we go over how to clean your AC, here is a list of things you’ll need to do so.  

1. Cleaning bag/ a large piece of cloth 

2. Air blower/soft brush 

3. Anti-fungal/ no-rinse evaporator spray 

4. Garden hose 

A complete guide to cleaning your split AC

Once you have everything, you can go about cleaning your AC. A split AC is made up of two units – indoor and outdoor units. You need to clean both units at regular intervals to prolong the lifespan of your AC.

Indoor unit

1. If you have a cleaning bag that fits your AC, place it around it. If not, you can place a big piece of paper or cloth so that any dust from the AC will fall into this rather than your floor for easy clean up later.

2. Once you have turned the power off, you can lift the front panel and remove them. Most ACs have one but many are divided into two parts. Both parts come off separately.

ALSO READ: How to protect yourself from the side-effects of ACs

3. After that, remove the air filters and place them aside. It looks like a net, and it will come off easily but be careful to not mess with its inherent shape.

4. You can put these filters directly under running tap water to clean them. You can use a garden hose as well. Use a sponge or a cleaning pad to gently rub if merely rinsing doesn’t work.

5. You should clean your filter at least once a month if you use your AC frequently. You can dry them under natural sunlight.

6. Now behind the filter, you will have the cooling coils/fins. Use an air blower to remove the dirt or use a soft brush to comb the dirt out. These fins are really delicate so make sure you don’t use too much force.

7. There are dedicated cleaners available on the market for these fins as well. You can use anti-fungal and no-rinse evaporator spray to clean them.

8. Use the cleaning spray first, wait for 20-30 minutes, and then use the anti-fungal spray.

9. Now place the dried filter back in its place, once you make sure everything on the cooling coil is dry.

10. Make sure you don’t clog the drain line by flushing it out once. You can also disconnect the hose/pipe that separates the indoor and outdoor units.

11. Turn your AC on and let it run on the fan mode for a few minutes. Now you are done.

Outdoor unit

1. Unscrew the top panel so that you can remove the top cover. Gently place it to one side. You will notice dirt, spider webs, other dust build up on the inside of the panels and on different components.

2. Use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment or an air blower to remove all the dirt.

3. Use a garden pipe and hose down the condenser coil fins. Make sure the pressure of the water isn’t too much as these fins are delicate.

4. After this, remove the panel in front of the fan to access it, clean it using water.

5. Use a cleaning spray to clean the outside of the panels if you want a super clean look. Alternatively, you can also use a wet cloth to wipe them. Make sure the cloth is lint-free and wring it properly to get rid of any extra water.

6. Avoid getting water directly into any of the electrical circuitry around the condenser coil or fan.

7. After this, just wait for everything to dry. Don’t hurry.

8. Once you know they are dry, screw back both panels and make sure they are securely fit in their position.

How often should you clean your AC?

Ideally, to understand just how frequently you need to service your split AC, refer to its user manual/ Ot should have everything from usage instructions to maintenance, including how often you should service or clean it. Just in case it doesn’t though, it is generally recommended that you get your AC serviced at least twice every year, especially if you use it regularly.  

Regularly cleaning and maintenance will ensure your AC continues to function optimally, and it does not consume any more power than required, or develop any of several small niggles, which can affect its performance and burn a pretty serious hole in your pockets too, if left unchecked.  

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