Updated at: 20-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

It is essential to clean portable air conditioners on a regular basis. You may not know how to clean a portable air conditioner, so we’re here to help.

Don’t wait for your portable air conditioner to display visible evidence of dirt collection before you clean it. Plan regular, comprehensive cleaning sessions that you can do yourself or hire an HVAC specialist to conduct for you. Schedule regular, thorough cleaning sessions that you can do yourself.

Portable air conditioners can be cleaned in the following manner. The parts of a portable air conditioner need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The outer housing, air filter, coils, hoses, joints, and drain line are all included in this category.

The cleaning procedures for each component are outlined in the following sections. Once the portable AC unit is turned off and disconnected from its power source, proceed with cleaning operations.

How to Clean Portable Air Conditioner Coils

Remove the exterior housing of most portable air conditioners in order to reach the coils. Snap-in and out-fits are available for some, whereas screws are used for others. In the first situation, loosen and remove the screws with the proper screwdriver.

How to Clean Portable Air Conditioner | Home Air Guides

Once you’ve finished cleaning the coils, be sure to keep them safely stored away until you’re ready to reinstall them. Always check your portable air conditioner’s instruction manual for detailed instructions on how to open the outer case.

Use a soft brush to gently scrape away any built-up filth and dust from the coils. You can use a handheld vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dust that has accumulated.

Clean the crevices between the coils by gently brushing a light brush up and down the coils. Occasionally, clean the brush with a piece of cloth to remove any dust that has accumulated. The brush will collect less dust as the coils become cleaner.

Clean the coils with a moderate bleach solution and baking soda if there is mildew or mold on them. Make a solution of bleach and water, and thoroughly combine the two. Clean the coils by wiping them down with the solution after soaking a towel in it. Using a clean piece of cloth, wipe the coils until they are completely free of any dirt.

To remove mold and mildew from the coils, dip a delicate brush into the detergent and bleach solution. To remove any remaining water, gently run the brush up and down the coils. To ensure that the brush’s coils are fully clean, rinse and re-clean it many times before allowing it to air dry.

How to Clean Portable Air Conditioner Filters

The location of the air filters in portable air conditioners varies. In some cases, there is just one air filter, but in others, there are several.

Start by locating the air filters in your air conditioner, and then remove the air conditioner filter cover or covers from the air conditioner. Remove the filters one by one with care. To get rid of the loose dust, shake it in a dustbin. Use a handheld vacuum or pressurized air to remove dust particles that have become caught in the air filter pores.

Use a soft brush and bleach or baking soda to clean the air filters if there is mildew or mold. Before placing them back in the air conditioner, let them to dry completely.

If your portable air conditioner has a disposable air filter, change it according to the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule. It’s better to replace the air filter than to try to clean a dirty one.

How to Clean Portable Air Conditioner Drain Line

In the event that your portable air conditioner has a built-in tank, drain it entirely at least once a month or so. You must open the drain and let all the water to drain out of the house. If there is no water coming out of the drain, it is likely that the line is clogged.

Unclog the drain line of your air conditioner using a pipe cleaner if necessary. The flow of water should start right away. In order to prevent this, always keep a bucket under the drain. It’s possible that you’ll need to replace your drain pipes on a yearly basis because of their limited lifespan.

How to Clean Portable Air Conditioner Housing

Cleaning a portable air conditioner’s housing is a relatively simple task. Dip a piece of fabric in a weak detergent solution and wash it. Rinse off the water and wipe the outside of the portable air conditioner.

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The joints, corners, louvers, and back air intake should be examined closely. To remove any collected dirt or dust, run a moist cloth down the length of the louvers.

How Do You Know Your Portable Air Conditioner Needs Cleaning?

The following are some of the most common warning signals that your portable air conditioner requires cleaning:

  • AC efficiency deterioration. For instance, the air conditioner might not be as frigid as you’d like it to be.
  • The air conditioner is emitting a foul smell.
  • Respiratory difficulties such as a sore throat, sneezing, and coughing occur frequently.
  • If you haven’t cleaned your portable air conditioner in a while, it’s time to do it again.
  • The A. C.’s housing has accumulated a significant amount of dust.

How Often Should You Clean Your Portable Air Conditioner?

Factors such as usage frequency, air pollution and climate might affect how long a product lasts. If you use your air conditioner frequently if the air is polluted, cleaning it every other week may be necessary.

Installing an air purifier, such as the Veva Air Purifier, is an alternative method of removing the toxins from the atmosphere. Otherwise, a once-a-month cleaning is sufficient for the majority of apartments.

Prepare your portable air conditioner for cleaning

Before you can begin cleaning, you’ll need to conduct some preparatory work. Here’s what you need to do to prepare.

  • Place your portable air conditioner on a flat surface and unplug it. Don’t wipe your appliance on pricey flooring because there’s a danger of water leakage.
  • Get everything you need ready. There are a few things you’ll need to get the job done: A screwdriver, a damp towel, a bucket or shallow pan, and an air filter.
  • Your air conditioner should be disassembled. To get inside, you’ll probably have to remove a couple panels from the back.

1. Drain the water

The purpose of a portable air conditioner is to dry the air. A receptacle inside the unit catches much of the condensation, which needs be emptied on a regular basis. When the water tank is full, some units feature an indication light to let you know, but other units do not.

Your unit’s backside has a drain that you can use to remove water. Wait for the water to drain out of your bucket or shallow tray. The drain can be connected to a hose, so you don’t have to empty the portable air conditioner if you don’t want to.


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2. Clean and replace the air filters

Maintaining clean air filters is critical to the proper operation of your HVAC system. If your air conditioner’s filters are clogged or dirty, it will have a difficult time cooling and circulating air. You should check them at least twice a month (and more frequently during the peak of summer) for any dirt or other obstructions.

The cleaning technique for air filters varies depending on the model of AC unit you have, since some filters may be washed, while others must be replaced every time they are used. If your filter is removable, you can wash it in warm, soapy water after vacuuming it up. Wait until it’s completely dry before putting it back in.

3. Check the coils

Keeping an eye out for dirt and debris on the coils of your portable air conditioner is another important task. If you don’t use caution when cleaning them, you could cause damage and incur an expensive repair fee.

LG Portable Air Conditioners | Groupon Goods

Take a moist cloth or a soft-bristled brush and carefully sweep away anything that has accumulated on the coils of your portable air conditioner. It’s possible to keep your air conditioner’s coils especially clean by purchasing special cleaning solutions from a local hardware store.

4. Tidy up the exterior

Remove the panels and clean them with a soft, wet cloth while they’re still off. Before reinstalling the panels, take sure to thoroughly clean the vents and any small spots where dust may have accumulated.

Even if you aren’t undertaking a comprehensive clean of your portable air conditioner, you should nonetheless wipe it down. Get rid of any debris, hair, or other obstructions that may be obstructing the unit’s operation by inspecting it once a week.

5. Store your portable AC unit properly

Don’t forget to drain the tank and clean the filter before storing your air conditioner for the year. After that, run the unit in fan mode for 30 minutes to an hour to remove any remaining moisture. Before storing anything, allow it to air dry completely.

The air conditioner should be stored in its original packing, if feasible. Make sure it’s stored in a dry and clean area to prevent mold from forming while it’s being stored for the winter.

It’s done! By following these simple procedures, you’ll be able to breathe easier, save money, and get more use out of your portable air conditioner.

Mold, rust, and water build-up

When your evaporator coils are running, they collect water from the air you breathe. It’s possible to obtain mold or rust if the water doesn’t drain out of the system.

Central air conditioners

Your evaporator’s drain pipe should have a clean-out port, and you may test this every season with a glass of water to make sure it drains. If it’s not draining, use the same fixes you’d use for a clogged sink or shower drain. If you notice mold or mildew growing in your filter, ensure sure the evaporator coil isn’t leaking water into the remainder of the air handler.

Window air conditioners

As a result of this design feature, window units must be mounted slightly tilted so that condensation drains into the pan at the bottom of the unit and out of the window. A “flinger” fan can squirt water onto the compressor and condenser, increasing the efficiency of the system by keeping some water in the drip pan rather than draining it through a hole.

Water in the drip pan of a window air conditioner should not pose an issue if it is used frequently, but if the water lingers for a lengthy period of time, mold and rust can begin to build. To avoid mold growth on the styrofoam baffles within a window air conditioner, let it dry thoroughly before storing it. To get rid of mold, you’ll need to dismantle the air conditioner, but a simple bleach solution can do the trick. A rust remover is all that is needed to remove minor rust from the drip pan.

Final thoughts

This is a good time to take your air conditioner out of storage so you can inspect it for potential problems before it gets too hot. Learn how to choose the best portable air conditioner from CNET’s buying guide.

If a portable air conditioner is out of your price range, another option is a window air conditioner. They’re less expensive than larger portable air conditioners, but they’re just as effective at keeping you cool when the temperature rises.