How To Clean Mildew From Air Conditioner? Easy To Follow Steps For You!

16 min read

Do you need to know how to remove mildew from your air conditioner? Just six procedures are required, but you must act quickly if you detect the stench of this fungus. In addition, they are often the result of molds.

If you’re susceptible for a long time, they all have similar health effects. Inhaling air containing growth spores might cause major respiratory issues.

In fact, your air conditioner is a perfect habitat for these critters. Mold is able to establish mildew or flat mold growth in your storage container because of the damp and dark conditions. As quickly as possible, we need to find a solution to this problem.

What You Need To Know About Mold in a Window Air Conditioner

Mold can have a negative impact on your health and on your window air conditioner if you’re reading this post (or if you’ve had this experience firsthand).

You’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Mold exposures may cause allergic reactions and asthma in people who are vulnerable, as well as other respiratory problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mold in Air Conditioners: How to Clean and Prevent Growth | Molekule Blog

In addition, the greatest approach to preserve the longevity of your air conditioner (and avoid an expensive repair!) is to prevent mold growth.

What Causes Mold in a Window Air Conditioner?

There’s only one word for it: wetness. Because your window air conditioner pulls water moisture from the air as it works, it is an accessible target for mold (which is why you may occasionally hear a dripping sound coming from the unit).

Mold thrives in a moist, dark environment like this one, which is why it’s important to keep the unit clean and dry. Mold also reproduces by dispersing microscopic spores into the air.

In order to avoid spreading mold spores throughout your home, it’s better to prevent mold from ever forming within your air conditioner (the EPA recommends against even running an air conditioner that may contain mold).

Mildew Removal From Your AC Unit

The two creatures have parallels and distinctions, such as creating health issues to humans who inhale it. Black mold, on the other hand, is far more dangerous. So, it would help if you also were mindful of the situation in your AC.

Since mould and some types of mildew are distantly related, cleaning your air conditioners of both organisms is a no-brainer. However, don’t be misled.

A expert can help you with this task because dealing with mildew is risky and difficult. As an alternative, here is a guide on how to remove mildew from an air conditioner.

Step #1. Preparation

Preparing an isolated space to clean your unit is part of this procedure. It’s possible to perform this outside, but you’ll need to take into account the wind’s strength. There are rooms that are rarely used and have windows, so you can pick one of those.

Keeping the fungi at bay will help prevent further damage. In addition, you’ll need to stock up on household supplies and tools. Bleach and coil cleaner will be used in this process.

Don’t forget to get things ready for you, too, of course. Rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask would be perfect pieces of safety gear. You should also wear an apron in order to protect your clothing.

Step #2. Remove your AC

Because we’re going to open it up, you’ll need to take your unit out of its current location. Window air conditioners, on the other hand, make this procedure much more difficult.

To begin, shut off and disconnect your air conditioner. After that, you can transfer your AC by unplugging all other cables and hoses.

However, if you have a built-in air conditioner, you’ll need to seek professional aid. Start by consulting the handbook for installation and setup instructions, which you may reverse engineer. After that, you’ll remove it from your computer.

Step #3. Clean the filter

Remove the front cover and remove the filter once you’ve moved the unit to your cleaning location. Keep an eye out for many filters if you have an air conditioner. As a result, make a mental note of their potential places.

Add five drops of dish soap and half a cup of bleach to a container full of water. Put them everything together and let them soak in a filter. After that, you’re free to depart and return to your apartment.

Step #4. Vacuum

Vacuum all the corners and edges of the interior of your air conditioner with a nozzle attachment. The nozzle allows you to get into tight spaces.

Here's how to clean your air conditioner - Reviewed

Before moving on to the next stage, this can be used to remove any debris and minimize the mildew population. The condenser fins can also be cleaned by attaching a brush attachment.

Step #5. Scrub

In a small bucket, combine hot water, bleach, and detergent. Then, prepare a sponge or rag to use as a substrate. Wipe down any surfaces that have mildew or mold on them.

The mixture can be wiped on all sides to ensure that it doesn’t become infested. The front grill panel should also be cleaned. Allow the chemicals to take effect by setting the machine aside for about 15 minutes. Clean your filters as well.

Step #6. Rinse and dry

Rinse the filter and unit using a sprinkler hose. Avoid getting water on the electrical components. You can leave these two in the room for around 24 hours to air dry. As a result, your device is now operational once more.

Eliminating The Mildew Smell

They not only harm our health, but they also emit a foul odor. When there is no mold growth, the AC may nonetheless emit this odor.

However, we must still get rid of this foul odor. Clogged drains are the most common source of this foul odor, which is brought on by standing water in the drain pan. In the event that your air conditioner does not contain any mildew, the further methods below can be used to remove the odour.

Step #1. Drain stranded water

To get to the bottom pan, you’ll need to open up your device first. Remove the pan from the sink and wipe up any messes. Having a wet vacuum on hand would be quite helpful if you do. Wipe away any remaining droplets.

Step #2. Wash the bottom surface

The mildew smell can be eliminated by making a new bleach and detergent mixture. Wait a few minutes before stirring in the solution. You can then rinse it and let it dry.

How To Prevent Mold in a Window Air Conditioner? (5 Step Guide)

Step 1: Keep an eye on humidity

Mold thrives in moist environments, and humidity is a common contributor to that moist environment. In order to prevent mold growth, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that indoor humidity be between 30 and 60 percent.

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners have some features, but if relative humidity is above 60%, the air conditioner is unlikely to be able to control humidity effectively..

Because humidity can build up in your home even when your air conditioner is functioning, experts recommend using a dehumidifier to keep it under control.

Step 2: Don’t let your air conditioner idle

To prevent the growth of mold, it is essential to keep your window air conditioner running frequently after it has been installed.

One of the most common mistakes people make with their air conditioning unit is to leave it idle for long periods of time — think about when you’re vacationing at the beach in the summer!

Even though you may think you’re saving money by not using your air conditioner, this might allow moisture to accumulate and lead to mold growth because the air movement through the air conditioner is entirely cut off.

In its place, we advise leaving your air conditioning on a low setting while you’re away (or even better, taking the time to clean out the unit prior to leaving.)

Step 3: Remove dust from the unit

Mold spores can also be found in the dust that accumulates in your air conditioning unit. The filter and the unit itself are the most likely sites for dust to collect.

Using a handheld vacuum or a vacuum hose to clean out the air conditioner can do the trick.

Simply remove the front cover to get entry to the cooling unit’s inside. The front cover of the air conditioner is typically either “spring-loaded” so that you may remove it with your hands or latches that you release with your hands, depending on the model. You may need to remove a few screws to remove the front cover in the worst-case situation.

Before attempting to examine the interior of your air conditioner, make certain that it is unplugged.

In addition, it’s a good idea to take pictures as you go so that you can see how the unit originally appeared and fit together.

Step 4: Remove dust from the filter

It looks like a fine screen inside of a plastic frame for your air conditioner’s filter. In order to keep the room clean, it traps dust and other airborne particles.

There is a lot of dust on the air conditioner’s filter, which makes it simple for mold to thrive.

Always located behind the front grill, this filter can be reused. In order to clean the filter, run your hand-held vacuum or an extension hose over it (being careful not to damage the mesh screen).

To eliminate the dust, you can run the filter under water (but wait for it to dry before putting it back into the air conditioner).

Step 5: Regularly clean your air conditioner

Cleaning your air conditioner on a regular basis is the best way to keep it free of dust and moisture buildup. Here, you may learn how to thoroughly clean your air conditioner.

What Maintenance Does an Air Conditioner Need?

When we requested Richard Trethewey of This Old House to share his air conditioner maintenance advice, he agreed to do so.

1. Change Your Filters

Every month throughout the cooling season, for central and window air conditioners, install a new filter (or clean if you have the washable type).

When shopping for an air conditioner, look for the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which runs from 1 to 12 for residential units (and the more energy needed to pull air through it, so balance air-quality concerns with energy costs).

2. Fix AC Leaks

Airflow can be lost up to 30% through duct leaks, and window air conditioners are notoriously difficult to seal. The “smoke trick” can be used to find leaks in a building.

Make sure the unit and the window frame meet by lighting a stick of scented incense; for central air conditioning, hold the stick near duct connections. Leakage is evident if the smoke is blown in all directions. Foil tape can be used to fill minor gaps in ductwork, while duct mastic can be used to seal larger gaps in window AC units.

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It - Atkinson

3. Use a Timer

When you’re at work, there’s no need to crank up the air conditioning to maximum capacity. You can save money by installing a programmable thermostat for central heating and cooling systems.

Window units with built-in timers and adjustable thermostats may be purchased for $10 to $20 at any home store; just make sure the timer matches your device’s voltage. The air compressor will have to work harder to cool your home if you turn off the system unless you’re going on vacation.

4. Insulate to Keep Air Cool

Wrapping ducts in warm attics and crawl spaces will help keep the air inside them cold. It’s possible to insulate with spray foam, batts, or rigid foam. Foil tape can be used to seal batt and rigid insulation (not duct tape). Wraps like Reflectix provide some insulation in small spaces.

5. Service Your Compressor or Condenser

Build a screen to protect your condensers and windows from the sun’s harmful rays,” says Pro2Pro’s “Pro2Pro Tip.” As much as 10% of their efficiency is lost when they are exposed to direct sunshine.” Expert in plumbing and heating: Richard Trethewey, TOH Plumbing and Heating

The air compressor and condenser of a central air conditioning system are often positioned outside the house, close to the foundation. Get rid of shrubs, tall grass, leaves, and hanging branches in the immediate area to get the greatest results.

6. Keep Your AC Unit Cool

For south-facing windows, consider installing awnings to help protect them from the harsh sun and therefore extend the life of your air conditioning system. Floor and ceiling fans can help circulate the cool, conditioned air in your home.

7. Perform Annual AC Maintenance

You should be put on a yearly cleaning plan that goes beyond just cleaning the filters by the dealer who installed your central air conditioning (or one you can find locally).

Prior to the cooling season beginning (or right now if you didn’t do it earlier in the year), book an appointment for this checkup and make sure the following chores are included:

  • Coil inspection and cleaning
  • Changing or cleaning the filtration system
  • Fan belts: adjusting and replacing
  • Motors and bearings need to be lubricated.
  • blowers and fans need to be cleaned and inspected.
  • Inspecting controls and safety mechanisms.
  • Temperature readings and pressures are checked.
  • Verifying operating temperatures.

8. Get Airflow

Verifying operating temperatures.

9. Upgrade for Efficiency

Checking the temperature of the equipment.


How to remove mildew from an air conditioner is as simple as this: You want to avoid this predicament at all costs, so make sure to perform routine maintenance as regularly as feasible.

You and your home are better off if your air conditioner only blows clean air. All of the mildew should be removed, we hope. Wishing you all the best!



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