How To Clean Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 26, 2023
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Cleaning a mounted window air conditioner without removing it saves you 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 clean and maintain their AC effectively.

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 must 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 to follow the step-by-step process, and the 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 ensure your air conditioner is turned off twice.

2. Remove the unit’s front panel

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

If you can’t find screws, 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, dip your towel 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 excessive brushing yet; you just need to ensure 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 gently clean the filters. This will ensure that all the dust and dirt are cleaned from the filter and won’t affect its functionality.

6. Dry the filter

Without putting the filter back, you must ensure it’s scorched. It shouldn’t be even a drop of water as it can cause big damage you don’t want to deal with.

Additional step

If you notice that your filter is damaged, buy a new one. This will help your air conditioner perform better and 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 cleaners, just fill an empty spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.

📍 Note: Cover your mouth when dealing with hydrogen peroxide, as it harms 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 daily, it seems quite impossible if you have other responsibilities.

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

Although many people are doing seasonal cleaning, I believe a bunch of dust and dirt can be collected inside the filters, which significantly impacts functionality.

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

What Cleaning Tools Can You Use?

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

Frost King ACF19 Cleaner

Our Pick
Frost King ACF19 Foam Coil Cleaner, 19Oz, 19 Ounce
$16.10 $9.69 ($0.51 / Ounce)
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05/17/2024 02:34 pm GMT

Instead of wasting time 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.

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

You can use it on 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.
05/17/2024 11:38 pm 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 its quality.

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

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

If you maintain your window air conditioner with the recommended two products, 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 does fresh air feel better, but it can also help people with 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 better.

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

The reason 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 air conditioner’s functionality is improved, and you will hear less or no noise at all.

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

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

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, check out our other helpful guides below!

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.