How to Clean a Portable Air Conditioner

Introduction: How to Clean a Portable Air Conditioner


I didn't realize but air conditioners need deep cleaning. I notice that my portable AC unit wasn't operating quite as well as when I first bought it. At first I assumed it was because it leaked coolant over time or some mechanical part wasn't working right.

After some additional inspecting, I notice that there was dust build up inside the unit on the inside parts. I've had this unit for 11 years and it's been used every summer.

I'll show you in this Instructable I'll show you how I cleaned mine, by no means is this the proper way but it was the way I did it.

Step 1: Cleaning the AC Unit

The first step is to take the portable AC unit apart, why companies don't make it easier to take apart is beyond me. As the average person might not be savvy to DIY the cleaning by themselves.

An air conditioner has two main parts that need cleaning an evaporator and condenser, they will have typically aluminium fins and that is where the dust will build up.

The only way to access evaporator and condenser fins is to take the unit apart. Every AC unit will be different so just take your time and start removing screws and take note of where they came from.

There was a crazy disgusting amount of dust on the condenser, no wonder the unit wasn't working to full efficiency. Also I'm sure mould and other nasty stuff was growing in there that can't be good for me.

So to clean it was super easy, grab a respirator and remove the build of the build up by hand then vacuum the aluminium fins.

I thought about using a hose to wash the unit but it would make a big wet mess. Vacuum everywhere there is dust while the unit is apart too.

I reassemble the plastic housing and then tested the unit and immediately noticed the air was colder. No doubt that my lungs will thank me too. I think i will make sure to clean it every season before use!

I thought this would make a good video too, so I included it as well.

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    6 weeks ago on Step 1

    Thank you so much, that video was simple and direct. I will be using this method every season for my portable A/C:)