Floor & Surface Cleaning

How to clean and maintain your air conditioner

Looking for air conditioner cleaning tips? Read on if you think it’s time to do some air conditioner maintenance at home.

Air conditioners: what would we do without them? They’re essential for staying comfortable in hot weather, but they can also be tricky to maintain. If your aircon unit is blowing hot air, don’t despair – it might just be time for a bit of air conditioner cleaning.

With time, patience, and a little help, it’s not hard to do A/C duct cleaning yourself. Set aside an hour on a day it’s not in use and get to work! Here’s how you do it.


What you’ll need

 Here’s a list of the things you’ll need when you’re performing your home air conditioner maintenance:

  • A friend to help with lifting – aircon units are heavy!
  • A 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Cleaning rags
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A fin comb
  • Workman’s gloves
  • Air conditioner coil cleaner
  • Electric motor oil
  • A household cleaner you trust, like Cif

Get all of this ready before you start, and you’ll save yourself some annoying emergency trips to your local hardware store.


Aircon cleaning: what to do

  1. Start by disconnecting your A/C unit from its power source. Remove the plastic filter holder or panel – it should snap off, but check first – and ask your friend to help you get it down from the wall.
  2. If your unit is window-mounted, you’ll also need to unscrew the mounting frame and case. Make sure you pay attention to which screws go where so it’s easier to put it back together after you’ve finished your A/C duct cleaning.
  3. Use your fin comb to straighten out any bent fins. Wear thick gloves while you’re doing this – those fins are sharp!
  4. Vacuum any dust, cobwebs and other debris away from both coils, then spray them both with air conditioner coil cleaner. The foam will need a little while to act. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, and don’t leave it on for longer than recommended.
  5. Use the rags and household cleaner to wash the fan blades. Double check the unit is unplugged before beginning this step and wear thick gloves for protection.
  6. Check for oiling ports – they may have plastic or rubber caps – and use a few drops of electric motor oil to grease up the motor.
  7. Wash or replace the filter.
  8. Put everything back together and mount it again.


There you have it: a complete guide to home aircon cleaning. Although air conditioner maintenance might seem daunting, it’s actually very easy once you know what you’re doing – and it could even help to prolong the life of your A/C.

Key Steps

Here are a few key things to remember as you carry out your air conditioner maintenance:

  • Get help with the heavy lifting.
  • Keep note of which screws belong where.
  • Protect your hands whilst cleaning the fins.
  • Vacuum away any solid matter.
  • Use the right cleaner for the job.

Cleanipedia recommends

Air conditioner coil cleaner is specifically designed to wash off without leaving any residue that can harm your equipment – or you! Make sure you choose it carefully, and don’t try to replace it with a regular household cleaner.

Safety Warning

You should only clean air conditioning appliances yourself if it’s safe and permitted in the owner’s manual. Read the manual carefully first before doing any cleaning or maintenance.