How to Clean Portable Air Conditioners

Like window and central air conditioners, portable air conditioners have filters. The filter needs maintaining because it can get clogged with dust. Dust reduces airflow, which results in poor cooling performance. Dirty portable air conditioning filters can also lead to increased running costs. The filter should be cleaned every couple of weeks in the summer.

  1. Disconnect the power supply.
  2. Remove the filter. The filter is likely to be located behind the outlet grille. Manufacturers make it easy to pull out portable air conditioners filters because they want to encourage you to clean it. Look for a flap type filter handle, it should be marked. Pull the handle and slide the filter out of the unit.
  3. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust. You can wash the filter with detergent if it is filthy. Rinse it and dry it thoroughly before re-installing it.
  4. Hold the filter handle and push the filter back into place.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soapy water
  • Cloth


  • You can clean the casing and remote control with a soft cloth and mild soap. Don't use abrasive cleaners on the plastic casing.


  • Don't operate the portable air conditioner without the filter, as you can damage the equipment.

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.