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How to Clean an AC Unit With Bleach

Christine Daniels

Cleaning your air conditioner on a regular basis can be good for both you and your air conditioner. An AC unit with built up mold can be hazardous to your health. When bleach is used as a cleaning product, it can be extremely effective on your AC unit. Bleach works well because it uses the process of oxidation. Bleach has the power to clean, disinfect and kill mold. It also has the ability to prevent bacterial buildup.

  1. Shut off all power to the AC unit by either unplugging the unit or manually shutting it off using the power box. Doing so will ensure your safety from being electrocuted.

  2. Unscrew the screws from the front grille using the screwdriver, and remove the filter. If it is a disposable filter, replace it with a new one. Other filters are made in a plastic frame, cleaned and reused. To clean the reusable type, place the filter flat in the sink and run hot water over it. After the filter is submerged in an inch of water, add bleach. Soak it for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from the water, and rinse it with warm water. Set it out to dry.

  3. Take off the metal cover of the air conditioner to expose the inside. Keep track of the screws you remove; they are small and can get lost easily. Vacuum any loose debris and as much mold as possible.

  4. Use a rag or wash cloth to clean as much dirt or mold as you can. Fill the bucket with bleach and warm water. Use the rag or wash cloth to scrub, using an up and down motion. The long-handled brush is a good tool to use as well. Use caution with the bleach, keeping it away from your face and eyes. It could be harmful if the bleach comes into contact with either.

  5. Drain all the water used in cleaning the AC unit, use a dry rag or cloth to take off any remaining water. Let the air conditioner dry for a few hours.

  6. Test the AC unit after it has dried to see if you have put it back together correctly. If it runs smoothly, you have a clean, hard working air conditioner that will last much longer now that nothing is stopping it from working to its full potential.