If your window air conditioner smells musty, it could be mold. Mold forms from excess moisture, and it appears in fuzzy green, black, white, or orange patches.
Mold is something that you shouldn't ignore, because each time you run the unit, the mold spores spread, which can cause serious health issues. Here are tips to clean mold from window air conditioners.
Prepare to Work
To remove mold, you need:
- disposable gloves
- eye goggles
- dust mask
- fin comb or popsicle stick (optional)
- old stiff brush like a toilet brush
- mild liquid dish soap
- HVAC cleaner (optional)
- vacuum cleaner and attachments
Open a window to ventilate as you clean mold, and wear a dust mask or respirator. Never clean mold with bare hands, and put on a respirator. Turn off the unit, then disconnect the power cord to the air conditioner.
Scrub the Filters
Detach the filter from the front grille. and fill a sink with hot water until it covers the filters. Soak the filters in the water mixed with some powder for fifteen minutes. Use the scrub brush to scrape the mold, rinse, and hang it to dry while you clean other parts.
Clean the Inside
Pull forward on the front grille, press down to remove it, and set it aside. Some grilles may attach by clips or screws.
To access the interior of the unit, detach the screws on the metal cover with the screwdriver. Store screws in plastic bags, and label them. Scrub visible mold on the cover the inside of the air conditioner with the scrub brush using in an up and down movement.
Don't scrub the fins too, hard, as they can bend easily. If the fins are bent, straighten them with a fin comb or a popsicle stick to improve air flow.
Combine a tablespoon of dish soap and a half cup of bleach in three gallons of warm water. Dip a sponge or scrub brush in the solution and scrub all parts, and let stand around fifteen minutes. Scrub the parts until you remove all the mold
You may prefer to scrub fan blades with a damp rag, so they won't bend, which causes the motor to vibrate. Rinse with cool water, and let the parts completely dry.
Alternately, spray some HVAC cleaner inside the air conditioner and on the grille, then let it stand fifteen minutes. Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove the cleaner, and let the unit dry. Remove water from the drip pan, and clean it. Vacuum the front and back grille, then under the metal cover.
Regularly clean the unit to avoid future mold. If you don't trust your skill, the air conditioner still smells or doesn't work properly, contact a home air conditioner repair service.