How to clean your air conditioner?

Regular maintenance of your air conditioner is an essential intervention to ensure its proper operation. In fact, cleaning your air conditioner helps prevent air pollution due to the accumulation of dust and impurities, optimizes the performance of the device and avoids over-consumption of energy.

Unfortunately, most users neglect to clean their air conditioner and realize the importance of this maintenance only after a problem occurs. This is why we have prepared a guide detailing the steps required to properly clean your air conditioner or heat pump. 

How do you clean your air conditioner?

1. Disassembly of the box

After disconnecting your air conditioner, you can start disassembling the parts carefully. It is recommended that you remove the box by unscrewing its fixing screws and gently disassemble it from the bottom to the top. Be sure to refer to the instructions provided with your air conditioner, they will show you how to disassemble the different parts.

  • Caution: The water drip tray is located at the bottom and can crack easily if you force too much! 

2. Disassembly of air filters

You can remove the air filters easily by pulling them out of their base.

3. Dusting of air filters

Gently tap your air filters and remove dust that has accumulated on the grills with a brush. Then vacuum directly on the filter grills to remove the dust residue by air pressure.

4. Rinsing air filters

If the filters are still dirty, you can put them in a bathtub of warm water for a few minutes to help dissolve the dust clumps. You can then clean them with a brush and a specific cleaning product for air conditioners. Finally, rinse the filters with water and let them dry at room temperature and away from the sun’s rays.

5. Cleaning active carbon filters

The activated carbon filter removes unpleasant odours and toxic substances thanks to its high absorption capacity and extremely porous wall. This is why this filter is also called the deodorizing filter. It is recommended to replace these filters once or twice a year depending on the use of your air conditioner or wall-mounted heat pump.

To clean the activated carbon filters, you must first locate them. They are usually placed between the air filters and the mouths of the air exhaust pipes. By pressing on the mounting rivets, you can remove them and rinse them with warm water. Afterwards, the activated charcoal filter must be oven-dried at 100 °C for ten minutes to be reactivated.

6. Cleaning of air conditioner indoor unit components

  • Using a lint-free cloth, wipe the outer frame and pipes.
  • Check the condensate drain. Dust may collect and form a plug in the condensate tube. If this is the case, pressurized air must be passed through or an unblocking ferret must be inserted to clear the drain.
  • Empty and clean the condensate pan, which collects the water run-off produced by the condensation of the steam as it passes through the cold exchanger.
  • Using a soft-bristle toothbrush, brush each turbine bearing to remove dust that has dried and hardened.

7. Cleaning the outdoor unit

It is the unit that ensures the exchange of air between the inside and outside. It must be maintained and cleaned in the same way as the indoor unit. Vacuum the back of the outdoor unit corresponding to the outdoor unit’s exchanger.

Spray the entire surface of the exchanger with a cleaning spray, let it work and rinse it thoroughly using a soaked sponge. Remove the front grille where the propeller is located and clean with a cloth and a specific cleaner.

8. Reassembling 

After cleaning and drying the components of the indoor and outdoor unit of your air conditioner, you can reposition all the parts (air filters, deodorizing filters, exchanger, etc.) double-check the electrical connection.

9. Additional instructions when cleaning and maintaining your air conditioner

It is strongly recommended that you do not apply household cleaning products to your air conditioner, as they can damage certain parts. If the filters are very dirty, you can use soap or specific products to clean and disinfect your central air conditioner.

You must also make sure that there are no obstructions in the air circuit, especially around the outdoor unit. Leaves, small branches or other debris can disrupt the entire ventilation system.

The new models of wall-mounted air conditioners and heat pumps are equipped with light-emitting diodes that send you a signal to clean the filters at the right time. For air filters and activated carbon filters, you must respect the life expectancy and cleaning frequency indicated by the manufacturer.

If necessary, you can add a reminder in your calendar or an alert on your phone to know when to clean your air conditioner and replace the filters. During the winter, it’s best to disassemble your window air conditioner or at least cover the outside of it to protect it from dirt and weather.

During the summer, examine the gasket between the window frame and the metal housing of the air conditioner. Make sure that the fresh air in your home cannot get outside through this seal, which could be damaged by moisture.

The condenser and evaporator coils of the window air conditioner have aluminum fins that can easily bend and interfere with airflow. You can brush these fins every season to clean them and keep them in the proper position. 

Why is it important to clean your wall-mounted air conditioner or heat pump?

Breathe good air quality

Did you know that air conditioners circulate up to 8 times the air volume of a room every hour? This leads us to pay attention to the quality of the air diffused by this device, which does not limit itself to cooling or heating the ambient air. Cleaning the filters allows you to eliminate all the impurities that could affect your respiratory system (dust, pollen, fungus, mold, etc.).

Symptoms of poor breathing such as nose and eye irritation, coughing or allergies could be an alarming sign of an unmaintained air conditioning. Regular maintenance of the wall-mounted heat pump is an important part of moisture control and the elimination of unpleasant odours caused by perspiration or cooking. So don’t forget the date of your next cleaning, especially if you live with people who are more at risk (babies, the elderly, asthmatics, etc.)!

Extend its lifetime

Did you know that a regularly maintained wall-mounted air conditioner can operate properly for up to 15 years? Proper cleaning of air filters, ventilation and coils protects the unit from overheating and damage to major parts such as the compressor. 

Optimize the performance of your air conditioner

Whether it is a wall-mounted air conditioner or a heat pump, the unit will not be able to perform its cooling, heating and air-purifying functions properly if it is clogged with impurities. Make sure you get the services of an air conditioning company to clean your air conditioner properly and maximize its performance.

Save energy

A poorly maintained air conditioner needs more energy to warm your home, which increases the cost of your electricity bills. Regular cleaning and filter changes can save you up to 15% in energy costs.

The best way to clean your air conditioner

The best way to clean and maintain your air conditioner is to obtain the services of a team of specialized and reputable technicians.

With its expertise in air conditioning, decontamination and cleaning services, Groupe Rousso is able to plan with you a punctual or regular intervention to optimize the performance of your air conditioner and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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