How to clean a window air conditioner without removing it

Window air conditioners are great, but they do require maintenance. Most people just throw away their filters every year or two and don’t even realize how dirty these machines get until they try removing them, but that’s not enough.

We’ll teach you how to clean your window AC unit without removing it from its frame in this post. This will save you lots of time and frustration.

I’ve seen many people try to clean a window air conditioner, only to end up with a mess and a $300 bill. But if you follow these simple instructions, you won’t have any problems.

Materials Needed to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

First, you need some supplies:

  • A bucket of warm soapy water

  • An old soft toothbrush

  • Spray Bottle

  • Some paper towels

  • Your User Manual

  • A vacuum cleaner

  • A squeegee (optional)

  • Fin Comb (optional)

  • Gloves to protect your hands

  • Screw Driver

  • A small tray to place screws/small parts in

Six Easy Steps to cleaning the Window AC Unit without Removing it 

  1. Unplug the air conditioning unit from the electrical outlet

    First, turn off the switch on the wall. Then, pull the cord out of the back of the unit. You don’t want to be electrocuted while touching different parts of the ac unit.

  2. Remove the Filter

    There should be a section dedicated to cleaning the filter in the manufacturer’s manual. If not, you can remove the air conditioner unit’s grill and filter. The easiest way to do this is to unscrew the top cover on the front panel and then pull the filter out.

    You may also find a filter holder at the back of the machine. If so, you should be able to slide the filter out of there. Check the filter itself. If it’s clogged, it probably needs to be replaced.

  3. Remove and Clean the Unit Case

    Next, you want to remove the case. Look for a screw bolt hole near the bottom of the unit. Once you find one, use a screwdriver to loosen the screws. Be careful when doing this because the screws can easily fall into the unit and cause damage.

    Once all the screws are loose, gently lift the case. Now, you’re ready to start cleaning the condensation drain and other removable parts like the drain pan. soak them in soapy warm water to ensure they are clean and dry them properly to avoid mold developing in the pan

  4. Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Suck Out all the Dust and Debris

    Now, you’re going to use your vacuum cleaner to suck out all the dirt and debris inside the dirty window air conditioner unit. To do this, first, plug the hose into the unit. Next, put the nozzle part of the vacuum cleaner down into the unit. Ensure that the suction is strong enough to draw out all the dirt.

    If the suction isn’t strong enough, you might need to adjust the settings on your vacuum cleaner. Also, make sure that the nozzle is pointed towards the center of the unit. Otherwise, you’ll miss some areas that need to be cleaned.

    After sucking out all the dirt, wipe down the entire unit with a damp cloth soaked in a detergent solution.

  5. Clean the Condenser Coils

    To clean the coils, you will need to remove the covering on the backside of the unit. It is best if you clean the coils by hand. Use a soft brush and some detergent. Start at one end of the coil and work your way towards the other end.

    Be careful not to touch the fins directly because they can hurt your skin. Use the brush to gently wipe down the fins and other parts of the coil. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect; you just want to get rid of the dust and debris.

  6. Reassemble the Air Conditioner Unit

    Ensuring everything’s dry inside is essential, so there aren’t any moldy spots. When everything is dry on the interior, put the parts back together. If you’re unsure how it works, consult the manufacturer’s manual.

Benefits of knowing how to Clean Your Window AC Unit

When was the last time you had a clean window air conditioner? It might not seem like a big deal, but learning how to clean your window AC unit without removing it will save you tons of money over the years.

Cleaning your AC unit is crucial because it helps prevent dust from accumulating inside the unit. Dust buildup can cause your AC unit to work harder than necessary, which leads to higher electricity bills.

Not only does a dirty AC unit affect your wallet, but it can also affect your health. Dust particles can enter your home through cracks around windows and doors, causing allergies and asthma attacks. According to the EPA, committing to an excellent preventive maintenance program is essential to minimize duct contamination.

A dirty window air conditioner unit can also lead to mold growth, which can damage your furniture and belongings. Mold spores can easily spread throughout your house, making it difficult to breathe and causing headaches.

Would I need an HVAC Professional?

Air conditioning systems are essential for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures. Unfortunately, they require periodic maintenance to ensure proper operation. If you don’t have time or understand how to clean a window air conditioner unit, Hurliman heating recommends you should consider hiring someone who specializes in AC repair and maintenance services.

Call an HVAC maintenance company today. They’ll be able to inspect your window air conditioner unit and give you tips on maintaining it properly.


Window air conditioners are just like any other appliance; they require proper maintenance!. The good news is, that our simple guide has shown how to clean your window ac unit without removing it. These steps will ensure your ac unit keeps running efficiently and properly.

If you have any questions about maintaining your window air conditioners, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Hurliman Heating and Air Conditioning.

If you are ready to start your service, please call us today
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