If you have been using your window air conditioner regularly over several hot summers, you may have noticed that it’s giving off a musty or moldy odor when you turn it on. This is probably due to the fact that it has not been cleaned properly in a while. If so, your AC unit may have a build-up of black sludge on the inside that creates an odor and prevents condensation from draining. It might be time to remove the device for a good clean to remove any build-up of dust, dirt, and mold. So are you wondering how to clean mold inside window air conditioner? We’ll answer that question below.
Dangers of mold in your air conditioner
If mold grows in your home, spores can be released from the mold and can be inhaled easily. Mold can cause nasal congestion, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, eye irritation, and skin irritation. People with mold allergies can have more serious reactions, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease can get serious infections in the lungs when exposed to mold.
Mold growing in an air conditioner is not necessarily more dangerous than mold elsewhere in your home. However, the function of an air conditioner is to distribute cool air throughout the room. If they’re infected with mold, they will effectively spread mold spores throughout the room or throughout the house. If the concentration of mold spores is high enough, you will have a mold problem everywhere and not just in one place. This means that you could inhale mold spores in every room — even when you sleep.
How mold grows in air conditioners
Mold spores exist just about everywhere. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get rid of all the mold spores in your home, and even if you do they will keep popping up every time you open a door or window. When spores turn into mold, more spores are released, and these higher concentrations of spores cause mold-related health problems. So the main thing you want to do is prevent the growth of mold.
Mold needs moisture and organic food to grow. Moisture can come from high humidity, leaks, or spills that have not been properly cleaned up. Condenser and evaporator coils are the main contributors to condensation and therefore can lead to water leakage if not properly drained. The food source can be a surface on which mold grows such as wood, carpet, or organic particles found in the dust if sufficient.
When to clean the air conditioner
Modern air conditioners have a fairly powerful filtration system, but despite this, they can clog over time, which in turn leads to an increase in electricity consumption, a decrease in the service life, and possible breakdown of the device. For preventive purposes, cleaning should be done every year before use, which is usually in the spring. It also doesn’t hurt to clean the AC unit after the operating season at the beginning of autumn.
How to clean your windows air conditioner
Remove the frame from the device
Make sure the device is turned off and the power cord is unplugged. Remove the front panel and the slats that hold the device to the window, then remove all the screws that secure the outer shell to the inside of the device. You need to slide the inner frame gently, making sure it doesn’t get caught in any of the inner parts. The screws are small so keep them in a safe place such as an envelope or a small box.
Brush the aluminum slats
Get a soft bristle brush to remove dust and dirt from the aluminum slats. You can find inexpensive brushes made specifically for cleaning the slats of the window units online or at a hardware store. Wear work gloves when cleaning the slats to prevent cuts.
Spray the coils and fan with condensed air
You can get a can of condensed air online or at a hardware store. Spray the fins and the area around the coils on the front and back of the unit. This removes dust around the fan and motor that are in the center of the device.
Vacuum and clean the bowl
Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose connector to remove traces of the tray or soil inside the unit. Then spray on a household cleaner, rub it in, and wipe it off with a damp cloth. Hand dry with a clean towel and leave to air for a few hours before reassembling.
Keep the air conditioner indoors during the cooler seasons
When you’re not using the device, you should definitely keep it indoors. Take it out of the window and keep it in the attic or basement. You can cover it with foil or a plastic sheet to prevent dust and dirt from building up. If you cannot remove the device from the window, you will need to cover the outside with a tarpaulin or air conditioning cover.