A Professional's Guide to Cleaning Your Aircon

Keep your air conditioner in good shape by keeping it clean. The air conditioner could work as well as a new one with proper maintenance. The unit won't be under heavy strain due to dirt, leading to stable airflow.

Your air conditioner will not blow cool and fresh air if you allow dirt to accumulate in it. Additionally, dirty air conditioners consume more electricity to run. You will incur a higher monthly electricity bill as a result.

The following steps from Aircon Service Singapore will help you maintain your air conditioner. Please note that these steps do not replace professional air conditioning service since you still have to do it at least once every six months.

What you need to clean your air conditioner

To clean your air conditioner, you'll need products that most households already have at home. Below are the things you will need:
  • A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
  • Sponge
  • Hand gloves
  • Face mask
  • Clean, dry cloth

How to clean an air conditioner in 11 easy steps

Keeping your air conditioner clean can help extend its lifespan. However, these steps do not replace regular air conditioner service.

Make sure the air conditioner is dry.

When you recently turned off your air conditioning, it is best to dry it first before cleaning it. Run your air conditioner on "fan mode" for 30-40 minutes to dry the inside. After that, the moisture will evaporate.

You can skip this step if your air conditioner hasn't been in use for a couple of hours before you want to clean it.

Refer to the user's manual first

Your first step should be to read the user's manual for your air conditioner. By studying the manual, you will be equipped to handle the task. For instance, you can find out how to locate the latches that allow you to remove certain parts of your air conditioning system and how to reattach them.

If you cannot locate the printed user's manual, you can try searching the Internet for it. The user's manual can usually be found by searching the brand and model of your air conditioner along with the words "user's manual".

Shut off the unit completely

Before you begin cleaning, you must completely turn off the unit. You should unplug any cables, so the unit does not get powered while you are cleaning it. In case you want to be sure, flip off the circuit breaker for your air conditioner.

Cover the indoor unit with a large plastic bag

After the air conditioner is disconnected from the power source, prepare a large plastic bag.

The plastic bag should cover the air conditioner and its surroundings. The bag prevents dirt from staining your floor or walls.

Take off the front panel of your indoor unit.

Your indoor unit's front panel can now be detached after being covered. Find the latches that connect the front panel to your indoor unit. Carefully remove the panel. Then, wash it under running water and let it dry.

If you forget where the latches are, look in the user's manual.

Clean the air filters

As soon as you remove your air conditioner's front panel, you will see its air filter. Remove it carefully. Give the air filter a good shake to get rid of the dirt. Dust can also be brushed away with a soft brush.

Some dirt will remain after brushing it off. Vacuum the dirt to remove it altogether. To clean them, soak them in water afterwards.

In the case of an extremely filthy air filter, you should wash it in warm water along with a detergent or a commercial air conditioning cleaner after dusting it.

Some air conditioners also come with bacteria filters in addition to the air filters. You can clean the bacteria filters as you would the air filters.

Vacuum the dirt on fins and coils

There are fins and coils on the inside of your air conditioning unit. Air conditioner fins are a series of metallic lines, and coils are rounded metal pieces at the centre. Both can be easily found after removing the front panel and air filter. Vacuum dirt from those surfaces once you've located them.

Usually, pressure washers are best when cleaning these parts. Many households, however, do not have this type of washer. For this reason, we recommend that you don't try to substitute these DIY methods for professional services. It is best to do an aircon chemical wash for a more thorough cleaning.

Dry the parts before reassembling them

Let's dry the parts you washed with water before we move on to cleaning your air conditioner. Simply let them air dry after washing them with water.

Some materials, however, cannot handle direct sunlight. Whenever possible, you should air-dry the parts in the shade. 

Clear any clogged drain lines

By following these steps, you can unclog the drain lines:

  • Disconnect the drain line from the unit
  • Suck the dirt out of it using a vacuum cleaner
  • Flush its inside

Remove dirt from the outdoor unit

Dirt on the outdoor unit will also stress your air conditioner. You need to vacuum the outdoor unit to remove the dust that may accumulate over time. You should also sweep or clean the area around the outdoor unit regularly.

In the case of the outdoor unit's internal components, you should leave them to be cleaned by licensed professionals.

Let the air conditioner run for 15 minutes

Now that the indoor and outdoor units have been cleaned, it is time to reattach all the parts that you removed. Make sure the parts are completely dry before reattaching. After air-drying, wipe them with a dry cloth.

Run your air conditioner for 15 minutes at the lowest temperature. This will drain out any remaining water. The air will also feel cooler and fresher after you clean it.

Maintain your air conditioner, so it runs smoothly

It is easy to clean your air conditioner with those DIY steps every month. You should also clean your air filter every 14 days if you frequently use your air conditioner. Following these steps will ensure that your system functions properly.

Like aircon installation, you should never use DIY cleaning as a substitute for professional air conditioner service.

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