How to Clean Air Conditioner the Right Way

During the scorching hot summer days, having an Air Conditioner at your place is immensely comforting. Well, there’s no denying that the cold breeze coming out of a brand new AC is blissful. But, with time, these machines do age, and the difference in their performance gradually gets more and more noticeable.

Air conditioners do require a little bit of maintenance, at least twice during the summers, when it’s used regularly. On the other hand, a little care before and after Winter will be a thumbs up too!, to keep your AC as good as new. We guess you have got our point here.

The fact is, even though the AC might show you signs of ageing, with a little cleaning and maintenance, you can still make it work like a brand new one! So, what are the areas you can take care of? Do you need a professional for cleaning the AC? You will figure it out soon as we go through the basics, so stick to this article and give it a good read.

But before we proceed, make sure you plan to do this on a weekend since it’s quite time-consuming. Not only that, you would be requiring the right set of tools, and some body-strength will also be preferable.

How to Clean Your AC Indoor Unit

Starting with the cleaning of the Indoor unit first, you can follow these simple steps and begin the work:

Take out the Power plug & Open up the Blower Unit

Just like working around with any other electrical, we must take out the power plug at the very beginning of the cleaning process. Afterwards, with the right set of tools, you can reach the unit and open the front panel. Make sure you do the cleaning in a well-lit environment. Otherwise, if adequate lighting is not there, it is more preferable to unmount the Indoor unit from the wall and continue working where there are no lighting issues.

Next up, open the blower unit and remove the front panel of the Air Conditioner. The very first part you will be going to see is the dust filter. Simply take the filters out and rinse them under running tap water. Behind the filters, most AC units have a small door, often covered with foil duct tape, and settled with the help of screws and bolts. We need to open it up as well.

Cleaning the Evaporator Coil of the Air Conditioner

Once you open the small door behind the dust filters, you will have access to the evaporator coil of your Air Conditioner. It’s quite a delicate part, so it is advisable to clean with a soft cloth or brush to remove all the debris and dust settled on the coil. If that seems difficult, you can find a no-rinse coil cleaner in the nearby local home-improvement store.

The product is highly efficient as once you spray, it will foam up on the coil and slowly drip into the drain pan of the AC, taking away all the dust with itself.

Wash off the AC Drain Pan

Drain Pan is yet another place where lots of dust can accumulate over time. Going with the simple methods, hot water and soap should do the work for you. Otherwise, for a hard-wash, you can use a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water to wash the drain pan as well as to sanitize it.

You should be doing this more often to keep it clean and far from clogging. In case you find out the drain is clogged, using a vacuum hose at the end of the drain tube should help you.

Closing the AC Access Panel

For closing the panel, you will require all those screws and bolts back, hope you have kept them safe. Along with that, remember that you removed some seals while opening up the AC, right? You can seal the compartments once again using HVAC metal foil tape; it’s easily available at any hardware store.

Hence, you are done here, with cleaning the indoor unit. Well, in case you find any other issues or damages, leave the work for the professionals only.

How to Clean AC Outdoor Unit

As compared to the Indoor unit, cleaning the outdoor unit is slightly more time consuming because there is usually more dust and other stuff to deal with. The main reason behind is that the outdoor unit is exposed to the outside environment. Thus, dust accumulates quite fast. However, the cleaning process is very simple and straight-forward.

Shut down the Power and Remove AC Grille

Like we did before cleaning the indoor unit, make sure the power cord is disconnected. Afterwards, you can take out your tools and start to remove the AC Grille’s screws and put the safe aside. Once you are in, lift up the fan and reach the Grille.

Clean away all the Debris and Dust from the Unit

Depending on your AC’s model, if the unit has dedicated filters and guards to stop debris from coming in, it won’t take you longer to clean the unit. Otherwise, if no guards are offered by the manufacturer, the conditions could be worse. Still, with the help of any wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you can manage to clean the outdoor unit very easily.

Cleaning the Coil and the Fins

Since the Fins are pretty delicate in most AC units, using pressurized water for cleaning is not a good option. Instead, you can use the same no-rinse coil cleaner that we preferred to use for cleaning the coil of the indoor unit. It will help you clean the condenser coils in the outdoor AC units as well.

The recommended amounts of the solution can be sprayed over the coils; the rest of the cleaning work will be done by the coil-cleaner itself. All you need to do is wait and later rinse it slowly. Once you are done, it’s time to pack all the things back.

Cleaning around the AC Unit

For additional care of the outdoor unit, cleaning the area around the outdoor unit is very much important too. This will be helpful to create a nice airflow for the outdoor unit to breathe properly and stay clean for a few additional days.


Using these simple procedures, it’s quite simple to clean your AC and make it work like a new one once again. Most of the time, it’s the dust and dirt only that stops your AC from performing its best. However, if you see any other issues or damages while cleaning the AC units, we would prefer you to leave it be, and call a professional technician to continue further.

Simply because you cannot do it all by yourself and might even make the damage worse, and that won’t be good for the AC as well as for your pockets too. If that’s not the case, and you see no signs of damage, gently clean every part as we mentioned above and make the Air Condition shine again.