How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner

By | June 7, 2023

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner
Cleaning a window air conditioner unit is something that needs to be done at least every 2-3 years to keep the unit operating the best it possibly can.

Many clean the unit at the end of the cooling season, but they can be cleaned at any time, especially if a unit is very dirty.

Items Needed To Clean a Window Air Conditioner

  • Dish Soap or Cleaner
  • Hose with a Spray Attachment or Spray Bottle

The items needed to clean a unit are a water hose or spray bottle and some basic dish soap.
How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Overview
Be sure not to use any harsh chemicals when cleaning a unit, as they may give off a bad smell when the unit is back in operation.

Steps To Clean a Window Air Conditioner

  1. If possible, remove the unit.
  2. Using a hose or spray bottle, spray out the fins.
  3. Use dish soap to help clean out any debris.
  4. Let the unit dry completely, and then test it.

A window AC unit has two coils in the front and back of the package that needs to be cleaned and any debris removed.

It is easier to do this by removing the entire unit and using a hose. Of course, it can also be cleaned without removing; just take care since it can be messy when cleaning.

If it is not possible to remove the entire unit, use a hose on the outside coil and a spray bottle for the inside.

When a hose is used, be sure not to use too much water pressure and bend the fins.
How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner 2017
The fins need air to pass through them, allowing hot air to escape away outside and cool air inside. If the fins get bent, then this will limit its ability to work well.

The main goal is to get any debris removed from the coils which block airflow.
How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Redy for the Fall
Be sure to clean the air filter also, which are usually washable type filters.

Also, be sure the unit has completely dried out, usually overnight, before powering up and using it again.

Can You Use a Hose to Clean a Window Air Conditioner?

Yes, a hose is commonly used to clean a window unit as long as the pressure is not too high.

The small fins on the inside and outside condenser should not be best, so airflow can pass through from the fan.

Can You Spray a Window AC Unit With Water?

Yes, water can be sued to clean a window unit but be sure it is unplugged with no power.

Once it is sprayed out, be sure to let it dry completely before plugging it back in.

It is usually best to let it dry overnight and make sure there is no pooling of water in any spots.

How Often Should You Clean a Window AC Unit?

A window AC unit should be cleaned anytime the small fins become clogged up with debris.

How often it is cleaned can vary on location and how quickly the fins have debris build-up.

For example, a unit is a very clean area with little to no wind and likely can go many years without cleaning.

A unit in a very dusty, windy location likely will need to be cleaned every year.

Cleaning a window air conditioner unit can extend its working life along with letting it work better at cooling a space and running quieter.

All air conditioners need to move air to work properly with a unit that has become clogged with debris not working as well as it should.

HVAC refrigerant moves through the coils pushing heat out one side and cold out the other side.

Having the coils clean and able for air to pass through easily puts less strain on a unit which lets it do its job better, which is cool when it is hot.

Also, be safe when working on a unit. Be sure it is unplugged, and if you are removing it, get help if needed to lift it.

Some units will not be able to be removed easily, and the inside coil will need to be cleaned with a spray bottle or similar.

Category: window mounted air conditioner

About Aaron H. Benetti

Aaron H. Benetti an HVAC technician who has worked in the field since 1991. He began his career as an HVAC installer and later began doing troubleshooting and repairs. Around 2010, he began to write books on HVAC topics, mainly tutorials and how-to information. Currently, Aaron works as an HVAC tech and also writes many articles and posts for websites as well as books and videos on HVAC topics.

2 thoughts on “How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner

  1. gary

    Can you use a cleaner and water hose while it in the window on the second floor, I know it is not recommended all is being done is spraying the mold and using the water pressure to remove mold? the electrical components won’t be affected except for the blower wheel is effected and plan on using a fan to blow air back through the washed area and wait 24 hours before turning on. unit is a Comfort touch

  2. Nikita

    How do I fix an air conditioner after spraying it out with water hose and when plugging it in, it starts to run then nothing…???


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