How to Clean a Split System Air Conditioner

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your split system air conditioner can mean years of clean air and cool enjoyment. It just makes sense to keep your inside unit free of dust and your outside unit free of leaves, dryer lint and debris. Frequent wiping off the external chassis and front panel will mean less dust the unit has to absorb. Depending on the amount of dust accumulated and any allergies you may have, consider replacing filters once a month. The outside unit may require professional sanitizing once a year if you notice buildup on coils that you cannot remove yourself.

Step 1

Turn the air conditioner system to the "Off" position, and disconnect the power supply to ensure safety during the cleaning process.

Step 2

Remove the front panel of the indoor unit. Dampen a cloth with cold water, and wipe down the front panel. Wipe it using a dry cloth.

Step 3

Lift the air filter out of the front of the unit. Remove the light activated deodorization net from the filter housing or frame, if applicable, and bask it in the sun for 6 to 8 hours. Vacuum any HEPA net or, better yet, replace them every month. Clean the net filter housing using a damp cloth with water. Dry the filter housing with a dry cloth.

Step 4

Replace the light activated deodorization net and the HEPA filters into the filter housing.

Step 5

Wipe the remote control unit with a damp cloth, and dry it with a dry cloth. Remove greasy fingerprint smudges with a mild dilute dish detergent, and rinse with plain water.

Step 6

Wipe the outside unit housing with a soft bristle brush to remove obvious dust or debris. Remove the cover using a screwdriver. Wipe down the cover inside and out using diluted dish soap and a soft cloth. Rinse with clear cold water, and dry with a soft cloth.

Step 7

Clean the exposed condenser coils using a soft bristle brush. Brush away dust and debris. Examine the coils to note any filmy buildup. Put the cover back on. Call a professional air conditioner cleaning service if excessive buildup is evident.

Step 8

Plug the unit into the power supply, and turn it to the "On" position for ready use.

Erin Moseley

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.