Window air conditioners can get dirty and blocked quickly, preventing them from moving the air around your room. It is essential to ensure that the AC unit you have installed works well to stay cool during summer. The tips provided below can help you clean a dirty window AC unit and make it run smoothly so you can enjoy your free time with complete comfort.

How to Clean a Window AC Unit

You may want to follow these steps to clean your window AC unit if you have lousy airflow from it.

Clean the Filter

If your AC unit has a removable filter, remove it and wash it with hot water and dishwashing soap, then rinse it clean. Depending on what kind of filter your unit has, you will either be able to wipe it clean with a wet cloth or rinse it off in the sink or bathtub. If you have trouble getting rid of dust or other buildup on your filter, soak it in hot water with laundry detergent or baking soda. Once the filter is clean, air dry it before putting it back into your air conditioner.

Wipe Down the Grill and Exterior

Using your vacuum with its brush attachment, clean the outside of the AC’s grill. Then, using a soft-bristled brush and soapy water, gently wash the exterior. Next, use your garden hose gently to rinse off the soap and scrubbing residue. Once finished, allow the grill to dry thoroughly before turning it back on.

Dust the Fins and Coils

To keep your window air conditioner running smoothly, clean the fins and coils on the outside unit at least once each year. Check with your owner’s manual where these parts are located and how to remove them – it’ll be different for each brand. Once you’ve got them out, vacuum both sides with a brush attachment and hose. Then, spray with a no-rinse coil cleaner. Bring the pieces back inside and use a soft brush to scrub any dirt from the blades lightly. Finally, wipe down the elements with a damp cloth and store them in an airtight plastic bag until you need them next summer.

Clean the Tray and Drain

Check your window air conditioner unit for a drip tray on the bottom of the air conditioner. The drip tray collects water that drips off the evaporator coils. Air conditioners usually have a removable plastic tray with a drain hole in one corner. Check and empty the drain tray if there is water standing in it. The arrow next to the spot shows which way drains water out of the drip tray.

Reassemble and Spray Cleaner on Your Unit

Once the unit has been disassembled, spray a window cleaner or mixture of baking soda and water on the inside. Open the exit flaps at the other end to ensure that all vents are open and clean. Rinse them with water for five minutes more, and then close the vents so that you can reassemble them. Now that your unit is clean, spray on some cleaner to kill germs and prevent mold growth. Avoid using cleaners that leave a perfume because it could attract bees, wasps, and other pests.

Tips to Ensure Your Air Conditioner Is Running in Prime Shape

If you own an air conditioner, you will likely depend on it to run throughout the summer. If so, it can be helpful to know how to make sure your air conditioner is running in prime shape. A little bit of preparation can go a long way in preventing big problems. Here are some helpful tips about keeping your air conditioner in excellent condition.

Get Your Air Conditioner Serviced Early

Your air conditioner should be working at peak performance, especially when you need it the most. Make sure you get your air conditioner serviced. This will help prevent any malfunctions when the unit is needed most during the summer months.

Get Potential Problems Looked at Immediately

If you notice your air conditioner making strange sounds or even just acting differently than it usually does, make sure you have an HVAC contractor come out to look at it as soon as possible. Letting the problem go on for too long can result in substantial damage, leading to costly repairs. Furthermore, a lot of the time, these problems might not be fixable, and you could find yourself needing to replace parts or even all of your machines. In short, calling a contractor at the first sign of trouble is a must to keep your cooling unit in good shape and running for years to come.

Check Air Filters Monthly

As simple as it sounds, checking air filters monthly is key to keeping your device cooling optimally. Over time, air filters can get clogged with dirt and dust particles, which restricts the unit’s ability to process cool air. Clogged filters also affect its performance. Make a note of when you last checked your filters, and revisit this task monthly.

Keep the Area Around the Condenser Unit Clear

It’s too easy to start falling behind on routine air conditioning maintenance. For instance, keeping the area around the condenser unit clear of shrubs and other debris is a task that many homeowners forget. The area in front of the condenser should be kept completely clear, ensuring that the airflow is not impeded. Also, be sure that nothing is blocking any ventilation holes as this can result in your air conditioner working harder than it needs to. You’ll also be reducing the unit’s overall efficiency.

Shade the Condenser

Shading the air conditioning condenser or unit from direct sunlight will allow your AC unit to work more efficiently. This will lower your electricity bill as the AC won’t have to work so hard. The shade will help reduce the condenser’s outside temperature and make it easier for the unit to function correctly.

Check and Vacuum Vents Monthly

Airflow vents are the home of your air conditioning unit’s air filter. Over time, airborne particulates such as dust, dirt, and allergens can build up. These pollutants can get blown into your home with inadequate airflow, so keeping these vents clean and free of blockages is essential.

Make Sure Your Thermostat Allows for Maximum Efficiency

The home thermostat is the control center for your AC unit. It senses when the temperature in your home increases and turns the air conditioning on. The thermostat then turns the AC off when the desired temperature level has been reached. Be sure to check your thermostat for the ideal temperature. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when home and awake for maximum efficiency. This strikes the right balance between cooling and energy use.

Signs Your Air Conditioner May Need an HVAC Professional

If your air conditioner isn’t working right, it might be time to call an HVAC professional from Dring Air Conditioning & Heating. Identifying the problem and having a solution, however, can be tricky. Here’s how you can tell if your unit needs some AC repair or replacement.

Increased Energy Costs Without Increased Usage

If you’re using your air conditioner less frequently, but your energy bill continues to rise, your unit may be in trouble. An HVAC professional can examine the unit’s motor to see if it’s poorly lubricated or not turning as it should.

New (and Probably Unpleasant) Sounds

The wrong kind of noise may be coming from your air conditioner. Loud squeaks, rattles, and other sounds often mean it’s time to call a professional for an HVAC repair. If your AC is making any unusual sounds, the issue may be severe enough that the unit needs to be replaced.


The technicians at Dring Air Conditioning & Heating are ready to answer any questions about installing and maintaining your air conditioner unit. We have the expertise necessary to meet your needs and set up regular maintenance contracts with you to ensure that your team works optimally in the coming seasons.

If you have concerns about your central air conditioner, please call Dring Air Conditioning & Heating for a complete diagnostic in Carrollton, TX. We’ll be able to address each of your questions and concerns and help you make the most informed decision about your unit. We offer comprehensive heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services.

Dennis Chaisson

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