Do You Need to Clean Your Air Conditioner?

In the summertime, our air conditioners can work overtime to keep us cool and fresh. However, like many appliance owners, you might be wondering if it is necessary to clean it and if so, how often?

Just like your vacuum cleaner, or water filter, it is essential to keep your AC clean to maintain the quality of air in your house. The filters that are inside of the unit are specially made to catch dust, pollen, and dander that could otherwise enter our lungs.

If these filters are not cleaned often and well, they can clog and collect moisture. When moisture collects on these dirty filters, they can begin to collect bacteria and even mould. This is not good for either you or your air conditioner.

Cleaning your AC unit regularly will also provide increased energy efficiency and lower electricity bills. When the filters are clogged, the unit requires more energy to move, heat or cool the air.

Always Check Your Instructions

Before you begin cleaning your unit, you should always consult the manual, which will have details about how to get to the air filters. If you can’t find your manual, you should be able to find a digital copy on the manufacturer’s website.

Before you begin cleaning, be sure to power the unit off.

Cleaning the indoor unit

Cleaning the dust filters
The indoor portion of the AC unit contains dust filters that require regular cleaning. If the air filter is clogged, the air conditioner will struggle to move air, which can result in higher operating costs.

Cleaning these filters is usually as simple as taking off the plastic cover and taking out the filter.

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the filters monthly. In reality, it depends on how often the air conditioner is used. As a rule, the more often you use it, the more often it requires cleaning.

Some AC models come with an air purification filter that should also be removed and cleaning. The purifying filter should also be replaced every year or so.

To clean your filters:
● First, take out the filters and give them a shake or brush. They can also be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.
● If there is any dust or grime on the filters, wash them off with warm water and dish soap. Be sure they have dried completely before putting them back in the unit.

Cleaning the outdoor unit

If you also have an outdoor unit, it will also need periodical cleaning. Be sure to check the outdoor compressor unit and keep it clear of any grass or plants in the area. Keep the unit clean by brushing off any dust or spider webs.

You can also run a vacuum over the intake to clear off any loose dust on the interior.

You should not open the internal unit without consulting a professional.


No matter how often you use your air conditioner, it should be cleaned periodically. Cleaning your filters can improve air quality and even reduce your electricity bills. Be sure to keep your filters clean for healthy, efficient air.

Steven Cooper

Steven Cooper

Refrigeration and air conditioning engineer with over thirty years hands on experience.

Air Coolers UK