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Once you’ve got your AC unit set up in your window, you still have to maintain and clean it regularly. Cleaning your AC is an essential step in preventing the growth of mold and mildew and removing the dust that reduces your air quality and raises your energy bills. You don’t want to neglect your AC to the point where you’d have to engage emergency air conditioning repair services.

It is a bit of work cleaning your window AC unit and we want to start off by saying it’s a job best left in the hands of professionals. Due to the use of chemicals and safety reasons associated with a window unit, we recommend that you hire a professional AC cleaning service instead. However, keep reading if you want to know more about the process.

How to Clean a Window AC Unit

Getting Started

This may seem obvious, but first, unplug your unit. Your AC cannot be on and running when you’re trying to clean it, so turn it off as you gather your materials.

Get ready some warm water, some mild soap or detergent, a reusable cloth, fin comb, screwdriver, and if you have it, you’ll want compressed air and a spray bottle with some hydrogen peroxide too. With any luck, you have many of these materials already at home with you, although you can substitute some of these materials if you don’t have them.

Remove Your Unit

Yes, you may have to remove your AC unit. Take out the trim that holds the unit in place, slip it out of the window, and take it outside if you can so that you can clean it.

With this said, it may be possible for you to keep it in your window, but this is overall much more complicated. It’s much easier to unscrew pieces and reach the filter if you have your whole unit just in front of you.

Begin Removing

Take the filter out next. It should be easy just to slip it out. If it’s washable, soak it in soapy water. If it’s not, get your replacement filter ready.

Remove the case too. This means undoing the screws, taking off the front grille, and pulling off any other parts too. This includes the back grill, the condensation drains, and any framing you can otherwise get off. Soak these to get them clean.

Wiping and Vacuuming

Spend some time to wipe down the pieces of the AC that cannot be removed with warm water and mild detergent. You can use a damp cloth to wipe everything down as long as you clean very thoroughly in between the air gaps. Everything should dry completely before you put anything back together.

Clean and wipe off the coils next in both the front and the back of the unit, either with a brush or with a foam cleaner. You’ll want to clean the fins using that fin comb as well, but be careful since the fins can be quite sharp.

Preventative Measures

Now is the time to use that hydrogen peroxide spray. You’ll use it to treat the exterior pieces of the air conditioner so that you can protect against mold and mildew. Make sure that wherever you spray dries before you put anything back together, but once everything is dry, you’re good to begin connecting all of your pieces again.

Cleaning Tips

Ultimately, you can do a more basic cleaning if you cleaned recently or if your unit isn’t that dirty. Just turn the AC off and spray the front with hydrogen peroxide. Once it dries, you can turn it back on.

You can also simply remove your unit from the window if you find that you’re not using it for a long period. Of course, you’ll still need to clean it, but this way, you won’t need to clean it as often.


There are quite a few steps when cleaning your window AC unit, and you may not be confident or experienced enough. 

The best advice is to hire a licensed professional with the right expertise and knowledge. We do the job right the first time and ensure a professional and thorough clean while understanding how to do it safely. Call us today to give your window AC unit a proper clean without any hassle on your part!