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How to Clean Mold from a Window Air Conditioner

Air conditioning units are great for large buildings as they can keep you cool and comfortable in hot weather. However, just like with anything else, they need to be cleaned regularly. If properly cleaned and maintained, they can last a long time.

Importance of Cleaning Your AC Unit

Just like all other appliances, AC’s need to be cleaned and maintained. You should add this chore to your spring cleaning so that it can be ready when the summer comes. Make sure to consult the manual for your window AC unit so that you can do a proper cleaning and avoid any damage.

Here are the supplies needed to clean your unit:

  • A bucket of soapy water
  • A vacuum with a brush attachment
  • Soft brush
  • Spray bottle with warm water and a little bit of dish detergent
  • Cloths
  • Newspapers so you can put the AC unit on them
  • A screwdriver
  • A place to put screws and small parts
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Fin combs in case you need to straighten the coils

How to Clean Your Window AC Unit Without Removing it from the Window

Window AC Unit

These are the steps you need to follow to clean your window AC unit properly. Make sure to follow them so you can avoid damaging your unit.

  1. Unplug your unit and clean the AC without removing it.
  2. Take the grill off the unit and take out the filter. You should change your HVAC filter every 1 to 3 months. In a small unit, it should be changed every 30 days. You can also soak it in soapy water and let it air out. The air filter keeps the air in your home clean. This means that you should take special care to check it regularly and get it replaced as needed.
  3. Take the case off the AC unit:

The easiest way to take off the case is with a screwdriver. This will help you see the condensation drain and other removable parts such as the drain pan. You can drain these parts in soapy water to clean them. The drain pan should be cleaned regularly so it does not develop mold from the water sitting in the pan.

  1. Vacuum and spray all the removable parts:

You can use the vacuum with the soft brush attachment to spray and clean any dust from the unit. After that, you can mix water and dish detergent and spray the inside of it and wipe it all down. Make sure to pay attention to the fins. If needed, use a fin comb to clean the fins area and to ensure they are straight.

  1. Clean the condenser coils:

Make sure to spray the condenser coils with water and detergent and clean them thoroughly, and then let the area dry out.

  1. The final step is to put the AC unit back together. This should be done once all the parts are dry. Make sure to use the owner’s manual if you are unsure about how to put it back together. Everything must be fully dry before it is reassembled so that you do not develop mold growth.

Why you should clean your AC unit regularly:

clean your AC unit regularly

  • The air filter will work better when it is changed regularly. It helps with the efficiency of your AC unit, and it will help it last longer. The unit will also be quieter as it does not have to work so hard.
  • After you are done cleaning, you should use a fin comb to keep the cooling fins as straight as possible.
  • If you clean your unit regularly, you will be able to detect mold quickly and then remediate it. If you do find mold, make sure to call a professional. Also, always check for leaks as mold growth usually forms when leaks occur and it can cause health issues for you and your loved ones.

When should you repair or replace your window AC unit?

If you’ve had a professional working on your AC system multiple times and it still does not function properly, it is time to get it replaced. Here are some things to consider as well.

  • Make sure your window unit is in the shade, so it does not have to rust as fast.
  • Take the unit out of the window if you are not going to be using it for a prolonged amount of time. This will help it last longer.
  • You could possibly cool the room with a ceiling fan. They are energy efficient and can save you money. You can set your fan to run in the opposite direction in the winter which will help push warm air from the ceiling back onto the floor.
  • If you think it is too difficult to clean your window AC unit while it is still in the window, you can have the whole unit taken down and cleaned. You can do it yourself by looking up instructions in the owner’s manual or have it taken down by a professional.

Calling a Professional


If you are having issues with your window AC, unit you should call a professional for help. Sometimes the service call itself will cost more than replacing the unit so make sure that you ask for the cost and figure out if that is the best choice for you. Also, always make sure that you do any routine maintenance needed for your window AC unit so that it can last you a long time.

If you’ve experienced mold growth at your home or business, make sure to call ServiceMaster Fire & Water Cleanup to get it remediated. We offer high quality mold removal services, and our highly skilled technicians will make sure to remove any mold growth quickly and efficiently. We can be reached at (844) 805-1107 or more about the full range of mold removal services we offer.