How to Clean Air Conditioners (AC)


Air conditioners are the most amazing electrical appliance when it comes to relieving yourself from heat/ hot temperatures.

Air conditions keep you relaxed in summer when the temperature is too high and one cannot bear the heat. But after using AC for a limited duration, one must clean it for the proper working of AC.

By cleaning the air conditioner, it has a smooth functioning which makes it more durable in terms of performance. Some people prefer to call an electrician or technician to clean it.

But it can be done by yourself too. Today, we are going to share the step by step process of cleaning an Split AC

Few important things to take care before you proceed with the cleaning of Air conditioner. These points are listed below:

  • This process is time taking. Keep spare time of half a day to clean AC.
  • Parts of the cleaning will require precise movements and proficiency.
  • Some specialized tools  might be needed to complete the cleaning of AC.

Before we proceed with the exact point, let me help you with the working process of the air conditioner, so that you are aware when you wish to clean your AC.

How AC Works?


Air conditioners have two components i.e. an indoor component & an outdoor component. Both components contain entirely different types of coil that need to be cleaned.

There are evaporator coils which are located in the interior portion of the unit. These evaporator coils are made up of copper, which conducts heat easily, and they contain coolant.

These evaporator coils absorb heat since warm air passes over them, and the refrigerant evaporates to a gas state.

After that, the refrigerant transfers the warm air to the outside component, where it passes through the compressor to the condenser coil.

This is the point where the compressor returns the refrigerant to a liquid state. The condenser coil then releases heat with the help of an exhaust fan in the surrounding.

To clean your home AC, you need to  work on both the components of Air conditioner i.e.  indoor and outdoor components.

Also read:

How to clean the inside component of AC


Let us help you with listing out what all steps will be there while cleaning the inside component of AC. After that, we will assist with how you can do it yourself in detail!

Step1: Switch off AC power.

Step2: Open up the AC.

Step3: Clean evaporator coils of the AC unit.

Step4: Clean the AC drain pan.

Step5: Clear the AC drain in case it is plugged.

Step6: Close the AC access panel.

Switch off the AC Power

Before starting with cleaning them, the most prior thing is to switch off AC Power. It is always suggested and recommended to switch off the AC power button before  cleaning any electronic devices. This step is mandatory for safety purposes.

Open up the Air Conditioner

The next step is to open the AC panel. Sometimes, it’s very easy to open the AC panel annually while other times you need to use some screwdriver to open them. However, in total, it’s an easy process to open AIr conditioner panel.

Clean evaporator coils of the AC unit

Use soft brush to clean/remove dust from the coil. Before getting started with the cleaning of the coil, make sure that you are wearing a mask so that allergic pollutants or dust are not affecting you.

To make the cleaning process simpler, you can get no-rinse coil cleaner spray from nearby departmental or home improvement stores. With this spray, you can reach out to those places as well which cannot be cleaned by hands.

Clean the AC drain pan

Once the coil cleaner task is done properly, let’s clean the drain pan of the air conditioner. Soap, hot water and bleach are the primary elements which are used for cleaning the drain pan.

Pour the solution of these elements over the drain to clean it. You can also purchase AC drain pan tablets from the nearby home improvement store or hardware store.

Clear the AC drain in case it is plugged

If the AC drain pan is not cleaned with the method used above,it means that the drain is plugged. Mold & algae can build up in the drain without regular cleaning and maintenance. This can be cleaned with the help of vacuum. As the dust might be present in the pipe where one can clean it with wet clothes or vacuum.

Close the air conditioner access panel

Once the air conditioner is properly cleaned, reattach the access panel with the help of screwdriver.

Also read:

How to clean outside components of Air Conditioner

Cleaning the outside components of an air conditioner requires much labour as compared to cleaning of inside components of air conditioners.

The reason behind it is quite clear and simple. The outside components of air conditioners are exposed to dust more than the inside components. Follow these steps to clean the outside component of the air conditioner:

  • Disconnect and Remove AC Grille
  • Remove Debris in Air Conditioner
  • Clean the AC Coils and Fins
  • Straighten the Air Conditioner’s Fins
  • Clean Around the AC Unit
  • Level the Air Conditioning Unit

Disconnect and Remove AC Grille

The most important task while cleaning AC inside or outside is to switch off the power. Take out the sheet metal screws on top of the unit. After removing them, lift the fan unit and grille.

Remove Debris in Air Conditioner

Debris needs to be removed from AC. Most of the AC doesn’t have guards that prevent debris from coming through the top of the fan unit. Get the wet clothes or vacuum to clean the debris present in the AC.

Clean the AC Coils and Fins

To clean AC coils and fins, you will need a coil cleaning solution which you can get at any home improvement store. The cleaners for coils are extremely caustic and can cause burns.

The fumes are also dangerous. So, it is highly recommended to not use it inside the coil. Dilute the cleaning solution and add it to your pump sprayer.

Spray it onto the coils. It will foam up in a few minutes, and then wash it off with your hose. The fins are somewhat delicate, and the pressure can easily damage them. So, it is suggested to not use a pressure washer to clean it.

Straighten the Air Conditioner’s Fins

Straightening the fins is crucial to maintain the efficiency of the AC. Use fin tools that are not much expensive to comb the fins and straighten them.

Clean Around the AC Unit

After straightening the fins, fix up the screws which were removed in starting. clean the AC around all corners to ensure optimal airflow.

Level the Air Conditioning Unit

Dirt & Dust may settle underneath the AC unit and cause it to start tipping. If a condenser unit is out of level for too long, use shims to level up the AC unit.

Steps to clean AC filter


Filters are one such thing which gets dirty easily. One must keep a check on the filters to clean them from time to again. However, it’s not the case that they get dirty in a short duration.

Once in a while or twice you must keep them clean for better performance and airflow. Step by step process is mentioned here in order to let you know how you can clean your AC filter at home with ease!

Step1: First of all use a vacuum to clean the filter. While cleaning it through vacuum, make a gentle effort otherwise the filter may get teared up or broken.

Step2: Soak the AC filter in liquid detergent . keep it soaked in the detergent for 10 to 15 minutes. Use to remove dirt and debris from the filter. Make a smooth attempt to clean it.

Step3: Spray the AC filter with water and vinegar solution. After 10 minute rinse it with water.

Step4: Dry the AC filters with the help of newspapers. Keep them above newspapers and they will be all dried up in a few hours. After that, fix the filter in AC, and you are done with the cleaning of the AC filter at home!


We have shared all the necessary points and tips using which you can clean your air conditioner by yourself with little effort of yours to put in while cleaning them!

Apart from these tips, if you have something else to share which is not mentioned here, you are absolutely welcome! If you’re reading it for the first time, let us know your experience of cleaning AC at home by following our tips.

Hi, I'm Rajib from Kolkata (India). A Govt Certified Mountaineer, Freelance Content Writer, Blogger, Certified Adventure Travel Guide, Affiliate Marketer, and SEO expert. Feel free to Contact me, I will get back to you soon. Thanks

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