How to DIY Aircon Cleaning

Regularly cleaning your aircon helps to ensure its longevity and efficiency. Homeowners should engage an aircon servicing company every few months to ensure the system is functioning correctly. If needed, chemical washing or chemical overhauls can be beneficial for your air-conditioning system too.

In this article, we discuss how you can clean your own aircon system and cut down on servicing and maintenance costs.


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How do I clean my aircon myself?

If you feel like there is no need to get a professional to clean your aircon for you, you can do it yourself.

Here are some ways in which you can carry out DIY aircon cleaning and explore in cleaning your air conditioner unit. However, depending on the areas and extent of dirt and gunk accumulated in your unit, you might have to utilise more than one of the cleaning methods and carry it out over some time to clear the grime out completely.

Can I use a vacuum cleaner to clean my air conditioner?

If you are feeling lazy or lack the confidence in taking your aircon apart wholly to clean the internal parts of your system, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out all the dirt and dust accumulated on the surface of your unit.

These include air filters, evaporator coils, pipes, and fans. By just using a vacuum cleaner to clean your unit, you might have only tackled the dirt on the surface. Thus, it is not effective, especially if you leave your aircon unattended for an extended time.


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Using an air compressor

Alternatively, an air compressor can be used instead of a vacuum cleaner to keep the internal parts of your air conditioning system clean on a routine basis. Use a nozzle and attach it to the end of the air compressor hose; this allows you to blow the compressed air into a focused area.

The air compressor can target several different areas in your aircon unit, such as the pipes, fan, and evaporator coils.

Using chemicals

Corrosive material or random debris can accumulate on the inside parts of your air conditioner unit. When this occurs, cleaning it with an air compressor or a vacuum will be difficult.

There are many chemical solutions for cleaning the interior at our local home-improvement store. When it comes to dismantling the unit and handling any of the chemicals, you must exercise caution.

Instead of attempting to clean the air-con with chemicals by yourself, it is best to have the air conditioner serviced by a professional. They can do a lot more than just clean your air conditioner. They can also detect any issues that need to be addressed before your unit system suffers further damage.

Homeowners can often perform routine maintenance on their air conditioning units. It improves the efficiency of the unit and reduces the amount of energy used to keep the house cool.

However, there may be times when additional issues arise that necessitate additional work. This could be due to internal system leaks or a water build-up caused by a clogged drain line. When the problems are beyond your ability to resolve, contact a professional to help you.


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When should you seek professional help?

Even though components of the air-con can be cleaned and maintained by yourself, components like the compressor require the help of a qualified aircon servicing technician.

Such issues might still occur even after proper aircon maintenance:

It’s probably time to seek help from a reputable air conditioning service company. They have the necessary skills to complete the task, and they may be able to save you the headache and stress of attempting to solve the problem.

Professionals may advise you to go for a chemical wash or overhaul. if you have serious aircon clogging issues as a result of not cleaning it on a regular basis.


Areas of Aircon You Should Clean

Cleaning Aircon Drain

It’s critical to clear your drain pipes and make sure they’re not clogged with debris or dust.

A filthy drainage system can cause your air-con efficiency too, resulting in excess moisture in your rooms.

The bacteria and dirt that have accumulated can then release toxins, polluting the air that your unit produces and possibly causing health problems.

To avoid such issues, you must clean your drainage pipe on a regular basis.

Algae and mould can accumulate over time, clogging the drain. It is necessary to unplug the drain if it is either not flowing or flowing very slowly.

If the system is equipped with a drain float, a clogged drain can cause damage by flooding onto the floor or by causing the system to stop cooling to avoid flooding.

As such, if you see water flowing from the drain pan or a pool of water flowing underneath your aircon, this could mean that there is clogging in your aircon condensate drain.


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Helpful read: HDB Guidelines on Aircon Installation Works

What causes the clogging of your aircon condensate drain?

Warm air from the internal unit is carried through the coil of an evaporator. Before the air makes its way back to your house, the coil removes the heat and turn it into cool air. Condensation occurs on the coil and turns moisture into water.

This water is drained from the unit via the condensate drain pan and flows out the pipe. As a result, drain lines must be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, as mould and algae can grow inside and clog the drain.

This may cause an increase in humidity in your room, resulting in a musty odour.


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How to clean your aircon condensate drain

  1. First, ensure that your air conditioner is turned off.
  2. Remove the access panel to reveal the drain pan. It’s typically found beneath the coil. Where the drain line exits the enclosure, look for it. A PVC pipe is frequently used as the drain. Follow it all the way to the bottom, where it flows out.
  3. Check if there is water flowing out from the pan. If you see water flowing from the pan, the chances are that the drain channel is clogged. Use a cloth to clear away most of the water and clean the pan.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the dirt and debris stuck in the drain line. One tip would be to vacuum from the end to ensure that you are not blowing the dirt back into the drain pan. To avoid damaging the paper filter, it is wise to remove it from the vacuum.
  5. Repeat step 4 as needed to clear away the particles.
  6. To clear away any rust, algae or remaining dust, you can soak the drain pipes with a distilled vinegar solution or chlorine solution for about an hour or so.
  7. Rinse the drain pipe once you are done and check through once more to see if there are any issues with the water flow.

Cleaning the Air Filters & Air Ducts

The filters of your unit are essential in helping to prevent dust particles from entering into the evaporator coils. If filters are not maintained and cleaned often, dust particles may accumulate and block the airflow. This reduces your aircon’s cooling efficiency. Cleaning of air filters and air ducts are usually done during regular aircon servicing.

It does not take a professional to remove an air filter from an air conditioner. If you know how to take out the filter, you are encouraged to check and clean it frequently yourself. You can get a replacement from your local home service store or air conditioner service store.

If you live in dusty areas (such as industrial areas), replacing your filter should be done every four months or so. You can also consult a professional for air duct and filter inspections.

When it comes to cleaning the air duct, professional services usually use a brush to scrub away dust particles or a vacuum cleaner to suck out debris caught in the air duct.

How to clean your air filters

  1. Ensure that your unit is turned off
  2. First remove the front cover of your unit, locating the filter
  3. Remove the filter and run it under warm water. You may use soap or detergent to in the water to clean your filter as well.
  4. Wipe your filter dry with a cloth, or you may leave your filter out to dry.
  5. It is vital to ensure that your filter is completely dry before you reinstall it.

Helpful read: Tips on Cleaning Your Air-Conditioning System

Cleaning the coil of the evaporator

Because of the restricted airflow caused by a congested aircon filter or vents, the temperature of the coils can decrease, reducing the effectiveness of the unit to a large extent.

You should be able to observe ice around the coils if this occurs. aircon maintenance should be done for the coils to improve its efficiency.

Even with the air filter, particles of dust might still be able to fly into the evaporator coil. The evaporator’s ability to absorb heat may be harmed as a result. As a result, it is critical to clean the coils on a regular basis. When cleaning and clearing the air filters, it’s a good idea to check and clean the coil.

You can do this with a vacuum cleaner or a brush. Cleaning the coils should be done with caution, as they are usually very thin and can bend while cleaning, affecting their performance.

Helpful read: How to calculate aircon BTU


How often should an aircon be cleaned?

As a general rule of thumb, the air conditioner filters within the aircon’s indoor unit should be cleaned once every two weeks. It is a small but important habit that can boost the durability and performance of your aircon significantly.

When it comes to servicing, on the other hand, it is ideal to have your aircon checked and serviced once or twice every three months.

Having regular servicing and maintenance

While many parts of the system can be cleaned and maintained without professional aircon servicing assistance, components such as the compressor require the services of a professional aircon servicing technician that knows what he or she is doing.

If you have undertaken all the aircon maintenance tasks listed above but still face issues such as your aircon:

It is probably time to seek assistance from a good and reliable aircon servicing company. They have the right skills to get the job done and could potentially save you the headache and stress from trying to figure the problem.

If you face serious aircon clogging issues because of not cleaning it regularly, professionals may encourage you to go for chemical wash or overhaul.


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How to DIY clean your aircon blower

Before we consider how to clean an aircon blower, we should first ask the question: What is an aircon blower? An aircon blower is a vital part of the aircon that brings air movement to the aircon to keep it functional and running. The aircon blower is also known as the air-conditioner fan.

Depending on the aircon system you are using, the aircon blower can vary in terms of structure and size. The most commonly used aircon blowers are the vane-axial fan, the tube-axial fan, the propeller fan and the centrifugal fan.

Steps by steps to clean your aircon blower:

  1. Flip over your aircon cover to reach the washable filters. To clean the washable filters, it is recommended that you use water, soap and a cleaning pad.
  2. To clean the impeller, remove the air vanes and the aircon’s flap. Use a small paintbrush to clean the accumulated dirt.
  3. You can further clean the impeller by wiping it down with a damp rag.
  4. You can now turn on the aircon unit. This will make more dust and dirt fall out, which you can then clean with a vacuum cleaner

How to DIY clean your aircon condenser

An aircon condenser refers to the exterior portion of the aircon that collects and releases heat so that the aircon can pump out cool air. Usually, the aircon consider unit comprises a compressor, the blower fan, a condenser coil, capacitors and motors.

The aircon condenser is an extremely vital component of the aircon as it facilitates the transport of the aircon’s refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor components.

If it is clogged by dirt and debris, it can cause your aircon to function improperly and break down. As such, the aircon condenser requires careful cleaning.

Step by step to clean your aircon condenser:

  1. Switch off your thermostat and locate the electrical disconnect near your aircon condenser.
  2. Open the electrical disconnect and turn off the aircon.
  3. If there are large debris stuck, remove them with gloves, then carefully vacuum the aircon condenser fins with a soft brush.
  4. After vacuuming, use a water hose and carefully spray off any loose debris on the external unit. You can then spray it with a coil cleaner.
  5. After allowing the coil cleaner 10 to 15 minutes to activate and foam, rinse it off with a hose.

What happens if aircon is not serviced?

To keep smooth and desired results, an air conditioner needs to be serviced on a regular basis. It’s important to understand how the air conditioner works in order to understand why it needs to be serviced. In process of the system, the air-con remove humidity and moisture from the atmosphere and provides refined air.

Over time, filth tends to build up in the air conditioning filters. If the filters are unclean, they won’t work as well as they should, causing the air con to work harder than it should.  As a result, the user may need to adjust the temperature frequently in order to achieve the same cooling effect as before. These would only result in higher energy consumption and higher bills. Apart from that, the air conditioner would blow filthy air, which can cause a potential hazards to your family, particularly those with asthma or eczema.

With prolonged use, any issue that reduces the efficiency of the system could arise. It could be caused by refrigerant issues. These are issues that should be decided by professionals who have the knowledge and experience to locate and resolve them. Though there may be some fees associated with it, the owner is assured that their machine is in the right person and that they will be able to enjoy the same level of comfort that they did previously. As a result, if proper maintenance is not performed on a timely basis, the air conditioner may be permanently damaged.

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