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How To Clean Split System Air Conditioner

How to open and clean a split system a/c indoor unit. Air filters in a wall mounted split system ductless A/C should be cleaned on a regular basis. Dirty air filters and dirty coils can cause the unit to work overtime therefore reducing its lifespan. There can also be health risks involving the air quality. The air that runs through the dirty filters and coils is blown back into the room with dust, dirt, and possibly mold. Clean the air filters to lessen the load on your air conditioner and also reduce harmful pollutants from being blown into the air.

How To Clean Split AC Indoor UnitHow To Clean Split AC Indoor Unit

Clean your split system a/c air filters every 2 weeks to avoid overload and harmful dirty air. Clogged air filters and evap coils in your air conditioner can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. This means your electric bills may be much higher if the coils and filters are not cleaned regularly. Dirty A/C air filters can also be bad for your health. All the air blown out of the A/C unit goes through the dirty filter and coils.

illustrated view of split system ac inside wall unitIllustrated view of split system ac inside wall unit

Make sure to clean the air filters and the inside of the A/C once every two weeks, here is how…

1. Lay a tarp or large garbage bag under the wall mounted A/C or use an aircon bag to catch any drips or dirt falling.

aircon bag on split system ac unitAircon bag on split system ac unit

2. Turn the circuit breaker OFF to the inside A/C wall mounted unit.
NOTE: The circuit breaker may be located on the outside of house, be sure it is OFF before proceeding.

3. Carefully open and lift the main front panel upwards and it should stay in an upward position, if not hold with one hand.
NOTE: When opening there may be clips or tabs on each side of the main panel, unclip or push them to open.

4. Remove the clogged air filters by pulling them up and out by pressing the tabs on the filters.
NOTE: Use caution when removing the air filters so they are not damaged. (No rips or tears in fabric)

5. Rinse the air filters under warm soapy water until clean, let the filters sit to air dry.
NOTE: Be sure to use a mild detergent when cleaning the air filters – Some air filters are not made to be in direct sunlight, so avoid drying the filters in the direct sun.

6. Use a canister type vacuum cleaner and vacuum the coils behind the main panel and the rotary blades behind the blower panel.
NOTE: Use a small brush and gently loosen the dust on the coils and rotary blades – Use caution to not bend any coils or coil fins when cleaning.

7. Once the coils and rotary blades are carefully vacuumed clean, spray the coils and rotary blades with a No Rinse Evaporator Coil Cleaner.

Spray coil cleaner on AC coilsSpray coil cleaner on AC coils

8. Give the coil cleaner time to dry and remove the dirt from the coils – Usually 20 to 30 minutes is best.
NOTE: Depending on what brand of no rinse evaporator coil cleaner, read the can and follow the directions.

Use a coil cleaner to remove the dirt and mold from split system ac coilsUse a coil cleaner to remove the dirt and mold from split system ac coils

9. Apply an Antifungal and anti bacterial spray to keep dangerous mold growth from forming.

10. Once the air filters and the inside of the A/C is COMPLETELY DRY, slide the clean air filters back into position as they were positioned before.

11. Close the main front panel of the indoor unit and turn the circuit breaker back on.

12. Power ON the A/C wall unit and test the unit to be sure it is working properly.

Special Note: This complete step-by-step method to clean a split system a/c inside unit, should be done every 2 weeks to keep the unit running at optimum efficiency. However, cleaning the coils does not have to be done every 2 weeks unless you have time to do it. You can just pop the main panel open, remove the air filters and simply vacuum the coils, not using the coil cleaner. The air filters should be cleaned every 2 weeks if the unit is fully running for 2 weeks straight (such as in summer months when it is hot). Try to clean out the whole a/c unit if you have time when cleaning the air filters. We understand that doing a full cleaning every 2 weeks is a lot of work. So, if you don’t have time, remember to at least clean the air filters.

This a/c air filter cleaning is meant for all manufacturers (ComfortStar, Daewoo, Daikin, GREE, Lennox, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung) of wall mounted split system air conditioners. This is a general guide to remove and clean the air filter on any split system air conditioner. This is for the wall mounted air unit inside.

Need help with cleaning your wall mounted split system ductless A/C? Please leave your comment below and we will assist. If you are asking for troubleshooting, please leave the model number of your a/c unit so we can fully assist you with your a/c issue.

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2 thoughts on “How To Clean Split System Air Conditioner”

  1. I have Daikin units and there is mold building up in the output vents, all the way back up into the unit. I can remove the swinging louvers and get them clean but there is an array of plastic bars that prevent getting further up into the unit where the rest of the mold is? Do I need to call a professional?
    Thank you

  2. Hello. We have a Lennox split system. We cleaned the filters and coils but it still seems to put out a musty smell. Is there anything else we should check?

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