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How to Clean an Aircon: Handy Maintenance Tips

Is your coolest household appliance getting the proper TLC it needs? Learn how to clean a window-type aircon and a split-type aircon to make sure that the cool air you're breathing is fresh and clean!


Hands cleaning an airconditioner

With our country’s killer hot-humid summer combo, you’re probably using your aircon to cool down at home. But is it still hot even after you’ve set it to the coldest mode? Or does your room smell a little funny? Your aircon might need a little cleaning. The best thing you can do for this cool appliance is to keep it clean, so we've compiled this guide with all the essentials on how to properly clean an aircon system! Find tips on cleaning a split-type aircon or a window-type aircon with our step-by-step guides below!

Aircon filter cleaning should be done on a monthly basis, and when not in use for long periods of time, it should be covered by a sheet to protect it from gathering dust and mold!


  • Check your aircon frequently for signs of mildew.

  • Turn your aircon off completely before cleaning.

  • Do not use bleach or alcohol to clean your aircon. Instead, use non-flammable antifungal sprays or hydrogen peroxide.

When to clean an aircon?

There will be signs that your aircon is in need of a good clean, especially if you’ve never cleaned the unit since you bought it.

Signs of mildew (like an odd, moldy smell) will tell you that microbes have built up in your aircon and that the air coming out of the unit is no longer clean. Because of condensation, it’s perfectly normal for mildew to develop, which means that you should aim to do aircon filter cleaning once a month if you use your unit on a daily basis.

Dust is also bound to gather in the cooling fins and coils of your aircon, and the last thing you want is for dust to spread around your room while you sleep. Cleaning the cooling fins and coils of your aircon is just as important as aircon filter cleaning and should be done seasonally.

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How to clean window-type aircon

If you own a window-type aircon, then follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn your aircon off completely.

  2. Using a mild cleaning solution, spray it over the external area on the front of the unit.

  3. Remove the filter and spray the cleaning solution inside.

  4. Thoroughly vacuum your aircon filters for the best clean, before rinsing under lukewarm water. Always check the guidelines for your model to make sure you're removing the panel properly.

  5. Leave the filter to dry completely before placing it back on the unit. The sprayed exterior of the aircon should also be left to dry completely overnight.

  6. For cleaning the interior of the aircon seasonally, start by removing the casing, keeping any screws in a safe place. With a soft bristle brush, comb the aluminum fins and air blow them. Vacuum to remove any excess debris. Spray the coils with an oxygenated cleaner or aircon coil cleaner. After 10 minutes, wipe everything with a damp cloth and leave to dry properly before reassembling.

How to clean split-type aircon

A split-type aircon has 2 components: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. Here, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to clean the indoor unit:

  1. Turn your aircon off completely.

  2. Lift the exterior lid up and pull the air filters off the grille. Always check the instructions for your model to make sure you’re doing things properly.

  3. Vacuum all the dust off the filters. Use a soft bristle to brush off any stubborn grime.

  4. Alternatively, you can wash the filters using lukewarm water and detergent.

  5. Leave the aircon filter to dry in the shade.

  6. Remove the frame that gives access to the fan coil, keeping any screws in a safe place. Spray it with hydrogen peroxide solution and rinse it off with a damp cloth.

  7. Only reassemble everything once all the parts are dry.

If these steps are too difficult, we recommend finding a professional aircon-cleaning service near you! Keeping the aircon clean helps it get colder faster, makes it more efficient and ensures the air is fresh and clean.

Originally published