Informational Guide

Cleaning a Wall Mounted AC Without Removing It

Discover how to clean a wall-mounted air conditioner with our complete guide. You won’t even have to remove it from the wall!

by Josh M

Air conditioners are a basic part of our lives and homes. All machines, however, require regular cleaning to work effectively and efficiently.

Knowing how to clean a wall-mounted air conditioner without removing it is not as difficult as you may think. In the article below, we have outlined the steps to clean it properly.

What You’ll Need

For this chore, you will need:

  • Towels
  • Water
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket
  • Soft brush
  • Vacuum
  • Step ladder

Step By Step Instruction

How you clean your wall-mounted AC has to do with how often you clean it. First, you want to make sure you follow the proper safety measures:

  1. Turn the power off to the unit and unplug it if possible
  2. Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a face mask
  3. Ensure your step ladder is in a good work order.

A light cleaning of your air conditioning wall unit is a simple task. Start by adding hydrogen peroxide to the spray bottle.

Mist the outside, vents, outflow, and intake. Use the towel to wipe down the outside to rid it of any dust that has accumulated.

Once you have misted the entire machine, you need to allow it to dry completely before turning it back on. This can take an average of four to eight hours based on weather, humidity, etc.

If possible, clean the AC before you go to bed or before leaving for work in the morning. It gives the unit plenty of drying time without interfering with your comfort level.

Fully Cleaning Your AC Wall Unit

through the wall air conditioner

You still need to give your AC a thorough cleaning periodically. It requires a bit more elbow grease, but nothing too strenuous. To start, gather your supplies as directed above.

Next, locate the filters. Typically, you will notice small, indented slots on the front of your air conditioner. Here is where the filter’s housed. You should be able to pull them out, but be gentle as they are fragile.

In some cases, the air filters are on the side, and you will need to unscrew the panel that it sits behind. Check with your owner’s manual for help if you can not find it.

Once you have successfully removed the air filter, we recommend a combination of cleaning techniques to ensure it is as clean as possible.

First, use your soft-bristle brush to dust the debris gently away. You can use the vacuum to accomplish this, as well, though you will need to be extra careful not to pierce the screen.

If the filter was only marginally dirty, spray it with hydrogen peroxide or use a damp towel.

If the air filter has a lot of dirt, it is essential to give it a full bath. Use either a bucket or sink.

  1. Fill sink/bucket with lukewarm water
  2. Add mild dish detergent
  3. Submerge the filter and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes
  4. Use a towel to wipe it clean
  5. Empty bucket and refill with clean water/ run water
  6. Rinse the filter with clean water

Ensure it is dry before replacing it in your unit. Then, wipe down the exterior of your air conditioner with your spray bottle or damp towel.

Pro Tips:
  • When the air filter is dry, wipe it down once more before replacing it. It will dislodge leftover residue.
  • Check the filter carefully for signs of wear. If in doubt, replace it.

Importance Of Having A Clean Wall Air Conditioner

A clean wall-mounted AC unit is crucial for your home and health. Built-up debris causes poor air quality, plus it can make allergies and respiratory issues worse.

Beyond that, your air conditioner will not work as effectively. A clogged filter requires more force to cool your home, thus increasing your utility costs. It also puts unnecessary stress on your AC, potentially causing it to malfunction.

How Often Should You Clean Your Wall Mounted AC?

As a general rule, once a month is typically sufficient.

Other factors to consider are things like whether you have allergies or asthma, pets, smoke, and the number of people in your home.

  • Homes with one to two people:
    Once a month
  • Homes with two or more people and one pet:
    Every three weeks
  • Homes with multiple pets:
    Every two weeks
  • Homes with smokers:
    Once a week
  • Homes where occupants have respiratory issues:
    Every one to two weeks, depending on other factors

Also, consider how often it is being used. In the height of the summer, for example, you should clean your wall-mounted AC more often.

Calendar on a Mobile Phone
Pro Tip:

Check your manufacturer’s warranty for maintenance guidelines.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How Long Does It Take To Clean An AC?

Daily cleaning can take a little as ten minutes to complete. Deep cleaning takes an average of 30 minutes (not including dry time) to complete. What’s more, some wall units are high on the wall, so more breaks might be necessary.

How Do I Clean The Coils On My Wall Air Conditioner?

As always, turn the power off to the unit first. To clean the coils, you need to remove the AC cabinet. You can find this information in your owner’s manual. Use a soft bristle brush to wipe the coils to remove dust and dirt. Replace the cabinet.

How Much Does A Professional Charge For Cleaning An AC?

This can vary depending on your AC model and your HVAC specialist. As a general rule, it can cost anywhere between $100 and $400. Keep in mind, higher volume times such as the summer will likely mean a more expensive price tag on cleaning services.

Are Window Or Wall Units Easier To Clean?

Again, this depends on the manufacturer and model of your unit. That being said, typically, they are about the same. Window AC units are not harder to reach, however. If you are interested in cleaning a window unit, take a look here.

Conclusion

Cleaning your wall-mounted AC is difficult. Doing so yourself will save a potentially large service bill, plus it keeps your unit running efficiently and your air clean.

Just remember to let the filter dry completely, replace it when needed, and keep up with maintenance.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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