June 25, 2024
Learn how to clean your air conditioning unit with this step-by-step guide. Discover necessary tools and equipment, product reviews, tips and tricks to help you effectively clean and maintain your AC. Expert advice from HVAC professionals included.


When was the last time you cleaned your air conditioning unit? If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never done it, your unit may be circulating dirty air and even making you sick. Cleaning your air conditioning unit is an important part of maintaining it and keeping it working efficiently. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your air conditioning unit, along with product reviews, expert advice, and tips and tricks to help make the process easier and more effective.

Step-by-Step Guide

Before you begin, make sure your air conditioning unit is turned off and unplugged. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Protective gloves
  • Goggles
  • A mask
  • A hose with a spray nozzle
  • A vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment
  • A screwdriver (if your unit has a removable cover)

Once you have your tools ready, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the outer cover of the AC unit (if it has one) with a screwdriver, and set it aside.
  2. Clean the exterior with a hose and spray nozzle, being careful not to get water on any electrical components. You can also wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth.
  3. Remove the air filter from inside the unit and wash it with a hose or in a sink with warm, soapy water. Make sure the filter is completely dry before putting it back in.
  4. Vacuum the interior of the unit with a soft bristle attachment, being careful not to damage any fins or coils.
  5. If the fins or coils are dirty, use a commercial AC coil cleaner (following the instructions on the label) to spray them down, and then rinse thoroughly with a hose.
  6. Finally, replace the outer cover (if you removed it).

It’s important to note that not all air conditioning units are the same, and the cleaning process may vary depending on the make and model. Always refer to your unit’s manual or contact the manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions.

Video Tutorial

If you’re a visual learner, a video tutorial can be a great way to supplement the step-by-step guide. Many HVAC professionals and DIY enthusiasts have created helpful tutorials that showcase the cleaning process from start to finish. These videos can be especially helpful for seeing specific techniques in action, such as how to clean the fins and coils properly.

When watching a video tutorial, make sure you’re watching one that is relevant to your unit, and that the narrator is demonstrating the safe and proper way to clean the unit. Look for tutorials that include captions or voice-over narration to help emphasize important points and tips.

Product Reviews

There are many different cleaners and disinfectants on the market that are designed specifically for cleaning air conditioning units. Some popular options include foam, spray, and liquid cleaners that are applied directly to the fins and coils, as well as disinfectant sprays that help kill bacteria and mold.

When deciding which product to use, it’s important to consider the type of air conditioning unit you have, as well as any safety precautions that may be necessary. Be sure to read any product labels carefully and follow all instructions for safe use.

Here are some pros and cons for a few popular products:

  • AC-safe No-rinse Coil Cleaner: This foam cleaner is ideal for cleaning small window units and is easy to use. However, it may not be suitable for larger units or heavily soiled coils.
  • Nu-Calgon Evap-Foam No Rinse Evaporator Coil Cleaner: This foam cleaner is great for use on evaporator coils and is easy to apply with its spray top. However, it may not be suitable for all types of coils.
  • Web Coil Cleaner: This liquid cleaner is affordable and effective at removing dirt and debris from coils. However, it may require multiple applications to fully clean heavily soiled coils.
  • Mold Control Spray: This disinfectant spray kills mold and bacteria, preventing it from spreading in your unit. However, it may not be suitable for all types of air conditioning units.

Tips and Tricks

Cleaning your air conditioning unit can be a time-consuming and somewhat daunting task, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier and more effective. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Clean your unit at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season.
  • Make sure your unit is off and unplugged before you begin cleaning.
  • Wear protective gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect yourself from debris and chemicals.
  • If your AC unit has a removable cover, take it off to access the interior more easily.
  • Clean the fins and coils gently with a soft-bristled brush or vacuum attachment to avoid damaging them.
  • Use a commercial spray cleaner to help break up and remove stubborn dirt and debris.
  • Make sure all parts are completely dry before reassembling your unit.

Following these tips can help make the cleaning process go smoother and avoid common mistakes.

Expert Advice

It’s always helpful to get advice from a professional when it comes to maintaining your air conditioning unit. We reached out to HVAC professional, John Smith, for his expert advice on cleaning air conditioning units. Here are some insights and tips he had to offer:

“The biggest mistake people make when cleaning their air conditioning units is not turning it off and unplugging it before starting. This can be dangerous and put you at risk of electrocution. It’s also important to use the right tools and equipment to avoid damaging the fins and coils. For heavily soiled coils, a commercial cleaner can help, but be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully. Finally, always refer to your unit’s manual for specific cleaning instructions, and if you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help.”


Cleaning your air conditioning unit is an important part of maintaining it and keeping your indoor air clean and healthy. By following the step-by-step guide, watching video tutorials, and considering product reviews and tips and tricks, you can make the cleaning process easier and more effective. Remember to always put safety first and consult a professional if you’re unsure about anything.

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