How To Clean A Ductless Air Conditioner [Including The Filter]

A dirty ductless air conditioner can invite problems like pest infestations and damaged fan motors. Therefore, regular cleaning is essential to help prevent these issues from happening. But how can you clean a ductless air conditioner? Also, what are the steps to clean its filter? We researched the solution for you, and here’s what we found.

Prepare the area by laying down some rags, towels, or pieces of cloth to protect the floor from splashing water. Then, turn off the air conditioner and disconnect the appliance from its main power source to prevent risks like electrocution. After finishing the preparations, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the filters, louvers, cover, and blower wheel with an all-purpose cleaner.
  2. Wipe the AC's main unit with a clean cloth dampened with an all-purpose cleaner.
  3. Install an air conditioner cleaning cover and spray the coils with coil cleaner.
  4. Spray the coils with water.
  5. Remove the cleaning cover and connect a hose to a Shop-Vac. Turn on the Shop-Vac to let it suck up leftover dirt and dust.
  6. Wipe any remaining damp areas in the main AC unit with another clean cloth or rag.
  7. Reinstall the blower wheel, filters, cover, and louvers.
  8. Test the air conditioner if it works properly.

Make sure you’re confident in going through with this cleaning operation. If not, you may want to consult professional air conditioner cleaning services to handle the job for you. Keep reading as we talk about the steps to clean a ductless air conditioner in greater detail. We’ll also discuss the process to clean specific parts, particularly the AC’s filters.

An Air conditioner (AC) indoor unit or evaporator and wall-mounted, How To Clean A Ductless Air Conditioner [Including The Filter]

Do Ductless Air Conditioners Need Cleaning?

Dust and dirt accumulating in a ductless air conditioner can hinder the cooling unit from functioning well. Leaving the cooling system unclean can also potentially damage certain parts, such as its coils.

These components are essential for converting heat into cold air. If left filthy, the coils can accumulate frost, which might also lead to permanent damage.

Homeowners should have their air conditioners cleaned at least once every two weeks. Removing dirt buildup from the filters should be the bare minimum for the routine care procedure.

How Do You Clean A Ductless Air Conditioner Filter?

Dirty air conditioner filter need cleaning

Remember to turn off the ductless air conditioner before cleaning its filters. Then, take out the filters, which should only require you to lift the parts by their tabs before pulling them out. Continue with the rest of this guide afterward.

What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Hose
  • Mild cleaning detergent

Step-by-Step Guide

Vacuum cleaner on grey background

  1. Use the vacuum cleaner to collect the loose dirt, dust, and small particulates.
  2. Apply a mild soapy detergent onto the filter.
  3. Spray the filter with warm or room temperature water. Make sure not to use too much pressure, or you’ll risk ruining the filter.
  4. Let the filter air dry before reinstalling it in the air conditioner.

You can also watch this video to gain more insight about cleaning a ductless air conditioner’s filters:

How Do You Clean A Ductless Air Conditioner?

Dirty air conditioner blower fan and coil

Giving a ductless air conditioning system a deep clean at least once every three years, or more frequently if you live in a fairly dusty neighborhood, helps maintain its optimal serviceability. Take note that some ductless ACs may demand distinct cleaning steps. However, most systems often require roughly the same cleaning methods.

Before proceeding with the cleaning project, prepare the area by laying down some clean towels or rags. Doing so will protect the floor from possible moisture damage. Next, wear a mask or respirator for dust and other small particulates that can become airborne. Breathing these substances can increase the risks of respiratory concerns.

Then, swing open the panel in the main cooling unit that's inside the house. Also, remove the louvers, which are the panels that swing to help direct cold air. After removing those components, unscrew and take out the AC’s cover.

Don’t forget to loosen the evaporator so the fan can spin when you spray it with water. Check your owner’s manual or consult the manufacturer on how to do complete this step.

The last part of the preparations is to ensure the ductless air conditioner is off. You can disconnect the appliance from the mains to increase safety while cleaning it.

After completing these arrangements, proceed with the procedure.

What You’ll Need

  • Shop-Vac
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Coil cleaner
  • Pump sprayer
  • Hose
  • Large bucket
  • Clean cloth or rag
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Philips variants)
  • Air conditioning cleaning cover

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Spray all-purpose cleaner on the AC’s blower wheel, filters, cover, and louvers.
  2. Apply some all-purpose cleaner to a clean cloth or rag. Then, use it to wipe reachable areas in the AC’s main unit.
  3. Secure the air conditioner with the cleaning cover. Attach the hose to the cover and let it lead to the bucket.
  4. Spray coil cleaner on the AC’s condenser coils liberally. Let this solution sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Use the pump sprayer to spray water on the areas with the coil cleaning solution.
  6. Remove the cleaning cover and attach the hose to the AC’s condensate line. Connect the other end of the hose to the Shop-Vac.
  7. Turn on the Shop-Vac for it to suck up leftover dust and dirt in the appliance. Wait for a few minutes before turning it off.
  8. Use another clean cloth or rag to wipe the areas in the main AC unit that are still damp.
  9. Reinstall the blower wheel, filters, cover, and louvers.
  10. Restore power to the ductless air conditioner to test its efficiency in blowing cold air.

You can also watch the video below to learn additional important details in cleaning your ductless AC:

Additionally, you can also read our post on how to clean evaporator coils on a central air conditioner to learn the steps to clean these components.

Check out this coil cleaner on Amazon.

Why Is Mold Growing In My Ductless Mini Split AC?

3D simulation of viruses inside the air conditioner by showing through a magnifying glass

The humidity and moisture content of a ductless mini-split air conditioner is often ideal propagating conditions for mold and mildew. Leaks and spills from the air conditioner’s condenser unit can also invite mold growth.

Failure to remove mold from an air conditioner will allow the appliance to spread the spores throughout the space. Individuals breathing and ingesting mold for extended periods are at risk of contracting health concerns like coughing, wheezing, and runny nose.

How Do You Clean Mold Out Of A Ductless Air Conditioner?

First, learn how to classify and take apart your ductless air conditioner’s outer case or cabinet. Then, gather the right pieces of equipment and materials before you continue. The items needed and the steps to follow are:

What You’ll Need

  • Coil cleaner
  • Mild dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Sponge
  • Screwdriver
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Garden hose
  • Large bucket

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Ask another household member or guest to help you lift and remove the main AC unit from its wall installation.
  2. Remove the grille and filter and set it aside. Wash these parts with a diluted bleach solution.
  3. Vacuum the dust and debris from the air conditioner’s internals.
  4. Spray coil cleaner on the evaporator or condenser coils.
  5. Rinse the evaporator or condenser with water from the garden hose.
  6. Dip the sponge in a bucket with diluted bleach. Wipe the air conditioner with the sponge to remove residual mold.
  7. Let the air conditioner air dry for about 24 hours before reinstalling it.

Aside from regular cleaning your ductless air conditioner, you can also use other appliances to help remove mold from the space. One example is the Dyson air purifier; you can read our post about it.

How Much Does It Cost To Have Your Air Conditioner Cleaned?

Homeowners that want to employ professional services to clean their air conditioners should prepare to spend about $75 to $200 for the expert labor. Aside from cleaning the cooling system, companies may also add extra costs to their specialized help if they see parts needing repairs or replacements.

The additional expenses may range from $10 to $14,500, which might include services like filter replacement to complete installation operations.

Final Words

Eliminating filth from a ductless air conditioner usually requires removing some of its parts like the filters and blower wheel. Individuals handling this cleaning operation should also pay close attention to precautionary measures, such as turning off the appliance to avoid potential hazards. Also, make sure to test the cooling unit after cleaning and reinstalling its components to check for faults.

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