How To Clean An Air Conditioner

Household air conditioners have long ceased to be a sign of luxury and today are present in almost every home. They create and maintain comfortable indoor microclimate conditions with economical energy consumption. Modern split systems are reliable, durable and easy-to-use climate control equipment. At the same time, even the lowest-power air conditioner is a complex technological installation for air treatment, which consists of many mechanical and electrical units. For high-quality operation of coolers, regular care and proper maintenance are necessary. One of the preventive measures is timely cleaning of the indoor and outdoor units. Therefore, over time, users wonder  how to clean an air conditioner .

If the air conditioner has not been serviced or cleaned for a long time, it will be very difficult to bring it back to normal on your own. You will need professional detergents and cleaning agents, tools and cleaning equipment. When cleaning, it will also be useful to diagnose and adjust the device, as well as refill the freon line. Therefore, experts recommend entrusting the maintenance and repair of air conditioners to qualified service center technicians. Of course, during operation, split systems also require minimal care from the user. Below we will tell you how to clean the air conditioner yourself using improvised means.

How often should you clean your air conditioner?

The outer surfaces and the front panel of the indoor unit of the split system should be cleaned as they become dirty. Manufacturers recommend cleaning the filters 1-2 times a month if the air conditioner is used intensively. The heat exchanger and fan should be cleaned once a season. It is also advisable to clean the outdoor unit once a year. Before cleaning an LG air conditioner or a device from another manufacturer, you should carefully read the user manual. It indicates how to properly provide access to the internal parts of the unit. It also provides recommendations on the frequency of cleaning various components. 

Signs of the need to clean the air conditioner and carry out preventive work may include the following phenomena:

Unpleasant smell when the cooler is turned on. If repulsive odors spread throughout the room during operation, then most likely a layer of dirt has formed on the evaporator. The odors are especially noticeable when operating in heating mode. The cause may also be a clogged drain tube.

Extraneous sounds during cooling. Noise may occur due to contamination of the fan. A layer of dust or dirt prevents the blades from rotating normally, they can touch the body parts from the inside.

Condensate leak. If water is leaking from the indoor unit, the drainage system is clogged. It is necessary to stop the air conditioner and thoroughly clean the tray and drain pipes.

The air conditioner does not cool the room efficiently enough. If you notice a drop in cooling power with increased energy consumption, then a thick build-up of dirt has formed on the copper heat exchanger. It reduces the efficiency of heat exchange and forces the compressor to work in an enhanced mode.

Cleaning filters

The air conditioner cools only the air in the room. The fan of the indoor unit of the split system takes air from the upper part of the room and directs the cooled flow in the direction of the blinds. At the same time, there are suspended dust particles in the air. To protect the cooler parts and reduce the concentration of dust in the room, the indoor unit of the cooler is equipped with mechanical filters. Filter grilles pass the air flow and trap mechanical particles. Therefore, the filter is most susceptible to dust accumulation and requires systematic maintenance.

The first recommendation on how to clean an air conditioner at home is the need to clean the outer surfaces of the indoor unit. To do this, remove the front panel. Usually it opens towards you and lifts up. Different models may have different removal methods, so it is better to look at the instructions. The panel should be wiped with a damp soft cloth or washed with warm water and detergent. Do not use hot water with a temperature above 40-45 ˚C, abrasive detergents and bleaches. After washing, the panel should be dried in a dark place and installed on the body. The body of the unit should be wiped with a dry or slightly damp cloth.

To effectively clean your filters, follow our instructions:

Before servicing, remember to disconnect the cooler from the power supply. Remove the plug from the socket or turn the circuit breaker in the electrical panel to the “off” position.

The filter is a round plastic mesh panel. With the front panel removed, grab the filter tag and, lifting it slightly, slowly pull it towards you. The attachment of the filter mesh may differ in different models of air conditioners, so it is advisable to study the air conditioner’s operating manual in advance.

Rinse the grille under running warm water. Use a sponge with a safe detergent or liquid soap to clean. To avoid deformation of the filter, do not wash it in hot water. Do not use solvents, aggressive detergents, abrasives or hard brushes.

After thorough washing, leave the filter for some time to dry. Do not dry it in direct sunlight. Do this in the shade.

With the filter removed, you can clean the air conditioner with a vacuum cleaner or a soft cloth. Wipe all accessible surfaces with a dry or damp cloth and allow time to dry.

If the filter has been washed more than 10 times, it is recommended to replace it with a new one, as it loses its protective properties.

If the air conditioner has fabric or paper pocket filters, they should be replaced with new ones when they become dirty.

We clean the heat exchanger and fan

When cleaning an air conditioner at home, the second stage requires paying attention to the heat exchanger (evaporator) and the fan. A standard nylon filter cannot fully protect the internal parts of the unit from contamination – small dust particles still penetrate inside. The heat exchanger or radiator is a system of copper tubes with metal plates on the surface. Moreover, dust accumulates between the plates, which are located close to each other. Therefore, the evaporator should first be treated with a powerful vacuum cleaner.

After this, you need to use a brush with long bristles. With its help, you can try to extract dirt from the spaces between the plates. When all accessible places are processed, the radiator surface is washed with a rag with a soap solution. If the dirt has penetrated deep and formed a dense film on the heat exchanger, you will need to use special equipment. Craftsmen with the help of a professional steam cleaner can remove even a thick dirt film. 

In order to clean the air conditioner with your own hands , you also need to treat the fan blades. If there is a large layer of dirt, the cooler may not turn on. Dirt will interfere with the rotation of the fan. Therefore, you need to clean the blades with a warm soapy solution using a brush or a brush. Hard-to-reach places can be cleaned with a toothbrush. When the dirt is soaked, turn on the fan at the lowest speed. Cover the wall and floor with film to protect surfaces from splashes.

How to flush a drainage system

To clean your Samsung air conditioner properly , you will need to check and treat the drainage system. If the drainage pipes are clogged, the condensate will not come out, but will drip directly into the room. The fungus and mold formed by stagnant moisture will be blown around the room by the fan. You can only wash the condensate tray with a detergent yourself. It will be difficult to do a deeper cleaning. If you do not know what or how to wash the air conditioner , it is better to contact the specialists immediately. They will treat all channels and polymer tubes with steam, wash them under pressure and apply an antibacterial agent. This will not only ensure high-quality drainage, but also prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria.

Cleaning the air conditioner with your own hands : the external unit

Comprehensive cleaning of the air conditioner on your own also implies servicing the outdoor unit. It also needs to be treated at least once a year. Only residents of the first floors can clean the outdoor unit on their own. For work at height, it is necessary to involve special equipment and trained personnel. And the cleaning procedure is highly complex and requires equipment. For cleaning, it is necessary to dismantle the outer cover, clean the inner surfaces, axial fan, condenser. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the copper tubes, electrical wiring, compressor and valves. Therefore, to care for the outdoor unit, you should call the service department.

Tips for proper operation of a split system

In order to avoid endlessly asking yourself the question of how to clean an air conditioner , you should adhere to the rules of proper operation:

  • choose coolers whose power corresponds to the area of ​​the room;
  • involve only experienced specialists in installation;
  • If the device is not used for a long time, unplug it from the power supply;
  • Do not expose the air conditioner to splashes or direct jets of water;
  • perform regular wet cleaning of the premises to reduce the dust content in the air;
  • Do not allow the device to operate for long periods of time with windows open;
  • perform a general cleaning of the split system at least once a year;
  • replace filters in a timely manner;

Do not use fabric softener to dry clothes.

While cleaning the external panel and filters of the air conditioner is quite within the user’s capabilities, a deeper cleaning of the device should be performed by specialists. Incompetent maintenance can lead to breakdown or a reduction in the service life of the air conditioner. Therefore, it is cheaper and more reliable to immediately order cleaning, diagnostics and adjustment of the split system in a service center.

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