Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Learn All You Need to Know about Cleaning a Window AC Unit

Air conditioners get a grueling workout, and regular maintenance is vital. Below are tips on how to clean a window AC unit.

Cleaning the Air Filter

  1. Turn off the window AC unit.
  2. Remove the front panel or grill.
  3. You may have to remove the filter by sliding it out or pulling it up from its slot.
  4. If the filter is just dusty, you can clean it using a vacuum-cleaner attachment. If it’s caked with grime, use warm water and mild detergent. Only reinstall the filter after it has dried.

Cleaning the Grill

The spaces in the grill can accumulate dirt, dust, and lint. Remove the grill and hose it off. You can use a mild spray cleaner that’s safe on plastics or soak it in detergent. Allow the grill to dry fully before reinstalling it. If the grill on your unit isn’t removable, clean it with Q-tips, a duster, or a vacuum attachment.


Clean the internal portion of the cabinet with a magic sponge or a damp rag. For the outdoor part, spray it with a garden hose. For tough stains, use a scrub brush and a mild cleaner. Unplug the machine before doing the outdoor cleaning job.

Condenser Coils

Most manuals recommend having the coils cleaned by a professional. They are covered by fins and found on the outside. If you clean them yourself, spray the fins with water mixed with dishwashing liquid. Use a nylon brush with soft bristles for scrubbing.

If your unit has a hose attached to the drain port, remove it and clean the drain hole by running a rag around it. Remove blockages in the hose or hole.

Now that you know how to clean a window AC unit, your unit can work more efficiently. If you want more information on how to clean a window AC unit or other air-conditioning issues, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.