How To Clean Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

By Ben •  Updated:   September 29, 2023
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Cleaning a mounted window air conditioner without removing it saves you a bunch of time and effort as you don’t need to mount it again.

I’ve been struggling with cleaning it, so I found the easiest way anyone can follow to effectively clean and maintain their AC.

You’ll also discover some of the most helpful tools you can use in this process, but first, let’s get to the main part.

How To Clean A Mounted Window AC?

Cleaning the air conditioner without removing it seems like a complicated process, but we prepared the steps you should follow to simplify it.

Before we hop on that, you need to know what accessories you’ll need to make cleaning effective.

Here are the main ones:

  • Bucket with water
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Detergent (optional)
  • Towel
  • Tap water

I would strongly suggest grabbing those because it’ll be easier for you to follow the step-by-step process and the whole cleaning will be much more effective.

Now that we have that covered, we can start cleaning the AC.

The process I’m about to explain is for monthly cleaning.

📍 Note: if you’re looking for daily cleaning, just scroll below the listed steps.

1. Turn off your air conditioner

This is the most important step you should never skip. If you forget to turn off the air conditioner, there’s a chance you can get hit by electricity.

I can’t stress this enough, so make sure twice that your air conditioner is turned off.

2. Remove the unit’s front panel

Most air conditioners have screws on their front panel, so use a screwdriver to carefully detach the panel. The reason why you must be careful is that you don’t want to damage other parts of the air conditioner.

If you can’t find screws – take a look at AC’s user manual and see how you can detach the panel.

3. “Magic Mix”

Take hydrogen peroxide and detergent and make a mixture. Then take your towel and dip it in this “magic mix”.

If you don’t feel comfortable making this mix, you can always grab Frost King as an alternative (I personally use it).

4. Clean the Filter

Spill the whole bucket of water onto the filter and let it dry. You don’t have to do any excessive brushing yet, you just need to make sure that the bucket of water at least cleaned a bit of the filter.

5. Excessive cleaning

Now that the filter is dried, use the towel you dipped into the magic mix and start gently cleaning the filters. This will ensure that all the dust and dirt is cleaned from the filter and it won’t affect its functionality.

6. Dry the filter

Without putting the filter back, you need to make sure it’s fully dry. It shouldn’t be even a drop of water as it can cause big damage which you don’t want to deal with.

Additional step

If you notice that your filter is damaged, go ahead and buy a new one. This will help your air conditioner perform better and it will maximize your comfort.

Note: Don’t use a filter from another brand as it might not fit best your AC.

You can watch the video that shows this step-by-step process in more detail.

Daily Cleaning Process

The daily cleaning process is more simple than the monthly maintenance check.

First things first – turn off your air conditioner.

Grab any foam cleaner from the store and spray the inside area of the air conditioner carefully. If you don’t want to use any cleaners, just fill up an empty spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.

📍 Note: Cover your mouth when dealing with hydrogen peroxide as it’s bad for your health.

Now, let the AC dry before turning it on again. The smartest thing would be to clean your AC at night, so when you plug it in in the morning it’s ready for use.

It’s as simple as that.

How Often Should You Clean Window AC?

There are three different types of cleaning:

  • Daily cleaning
  • Monthly cleaning
  • Seasonal cleaning

If you’re a busy guy like myself, you won’t have time to clean your air conditioner every single day.

Although it would be best to clean it every day, it seems quite impossible if you have other responsibilities in your life.

In my honest opinion, you should clean your air conditioner each month.

Although a lot of people are doing seasonal cleaning, I believe a bunch of dust and dirt can be collected inside the filters which has a big impact on functionality.

However, if you have time for daily cleaning – go for it!

What Cleaning Tools Can You Use?

Using certain tools and accessories can make your cleaning process a lot easier. The results will be much more visible as the two tools I’ll mention can be huge time-savers.

Frost King ACF19 Cleaner

Our Pick
Frost King ACF19 Foam Coil Cleaner, 19Oz, 19 Ounce
$16.10 $9.35 ($0.49 / Ounce)
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/29/2023 08:51 pm GMT

Instead of wasting time on mixing hydrogen peroxide and detergent, you can easily spray Frost King on the inside parts of the air conditioner and let it do all the work for you.

It easily removes dirt, dump, oil, and other things that affect the functionality of your air conditioner.

What I love about it is that you can use it on your lawnmower, refrigerator, and even car radiators. So, you can definitely use it for other things than just your air conditioner.

You can use it on both condenser and evaporator coils for your outside window unit.

Condenser Fin Whisk Brush 

Air Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk Brush
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/30/2023 09:27 am GMT

There are many brushes, but I love this particular one because the quality is amazing. The same tool is used by HVAC plumbing and heating contractors and that’s why I know how quality it is.

It combines pretty well with Frost King and you can clean filters fully with just a few swipes.

Same as the coil cleaner I mentioned above – you can use this brush for refrigerators, fins, coils, and more.

If you maintain your window air conditioner with these two products I recommended, you can save more than $250 that you would be charged for the “chemical cleaning” of contender coils.

📍 Note: Always turn off your unit before you start cleaning it.

Why Should You Clean Your Window Air Conditioner?

There are a couple of benefits why you should consider cleaning your window AC frequently.

Here are the top three that motivate me to do monthly cleaning.

Fresh Air

Not only that fresh air feels better, but it can also help people who have asthma or some other type of allergy. 

Dirty filters won’t push fresh air and there’s a risk of lung problems if you constantly inhale dirty air.

Less Energy

When you frequently clean your air conditioner, it will be more powerful and function a lot better.

It will require less energy to cool the whole room, so cleaning your AC often will save you a couple of bucks at the end of the month.

The reason behind it is that the air conditioner will push a lot more air into the room instead of “losing” it because there’s dirt on the filters.

Less Noise

When your filters are clean, the functionality of the air conditioner is improved, and you will hear less or no noise at all.

Because of all the dirt on the filters, the fan is struggling to operate and it starts producing uncomfortable noises.

You can check out our article on the quietest window air conditioners as well.

Overall, cleaning your air conditioner frequently has a ton of health and comfort benefits – and it saves you some money as well 😊

If you found this article helpful, go ahead and check out some of our other helpful guides below!

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder of Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article, I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. Me together with my team, are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. If you want more details about the website and our team, please check the about page.