Financing Options Available*

View Options

Cleaning Your Window AC Unit, Avoid Mold and Mildew

Feature image post of the "Cleaning Your Window AC Unit, Avoid Mold and Mildew FB" with a background of a man cleaning the window ac unit

Indoor window air conditioners are famous for more than just cooling an area. Not many people are aware that the vents inside the units are a breeding ground for black mold and mildew.

Even though condensation runs from it to the outdoors, the build-up forms in and around the ducts and coils as the cold air makes its way through the system, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold that thrives with moisture.

Mold production and growth in A/C is a much more serious problem than what homeowners are aware. Every time it is turned on, small invisible spores of mold constantly fill the air. That is why Cleaning Your Window AC Unit, Avoid Mold and Mildew are important.

Mold grows and spreads fast and easy and before you are aware of its presence, you can have mold spreading and growing throughout the area. Once this happens it doesn’t take long for the mold to begin spreading and growing all over the home.

How to Detect Mold in Your Window Air Conditioner

Most homeowners expect to discover mold in basements, leaky areas around roofs, and under carpets that are old or that have gotten wet at one time. But, not many are aware of the danger that lurks inside their air conditioner.

The first sign of mold the homeowner typically recognizes is a musty smell that fills the room often without the visual detection that there are active mold spores present. Mold in a home can lead to serious health issues and it doesn’t take long for the symptoms to begin.

If you continue to smell this odor, rest assured there is mold somewhere in your home. However, if the smell is stronger when you turn the unit on, chances are there is mold growing in it somewhere, even if you are unable to find where at the time.

Extensive mold removal and repair cost can accumulate just as fast if the mold isn’t detected early. If the discovery of mold is early enough and prompt action is applied, the homeowner can get a handle on the danger before it progresses too far.

Chances are you will be able to see mold in your AC if you make a thorough inspection or if you remove the filter and examine it, there could also be visible traces there. Even if it is too soon to see active mold on or around the filter, yet the smell it there, do a detailed inspection of the coils and around the motor for any signs of onset growth activity.

Household Members Could Get Sick From Breathing Mold

collage photos of people who got sick From Breathing Mold

Mold related illness can seem as if the person has a common cold or the beginning of the flu. If you or other members of your household began experiencing any of the following symptoms, you see your physician as soon as possible.

    • Sore throat
    • Headaches
    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing
    • Fatigue
    • Respiratory infections
    • Run-down feeling

If the above symptoms started since using your AC, there is a good chance your illness could be due to mold in it. If you are uncertain, call All Hours Air and we will send a technician out to do a thorough inspection.

Small spores of mold are often hard to see right away, however, given time, the mold will grow and become more apparent to the human eye. It is imperative that you not wait if symptoms like those listed above begin surfacing in people of your household.

Humidity that window units draw in from outside air doesn’t just disappear; it settles in and around the coils that keep the air cold. This moisture added with dirt and dust from the air creates a perfect environment for spores of mold that quickly grow and spread.

By not removing, cleaning, or covering it during the winter season, you are creating the perfect scenario for mold to continue to erode inside. Failing to install filters and keeping it clean allows dust and outside debris to pass through it, mixing with the humidity- creating the perfect storm for mold, allergy, and asthma symptoms.

How to Clean Your Window Air Conditioning Unit

a man holding a green hose cleaning the Window Air Conditioning Unit

Keeping your air conditioner unit clean will help prevent future-extensive, and possible very expensive repairs from occurring as well as maintaining the reliability and efficiency of your A/C for several years.

While it is important that you leave major air conditioning cleaning and upkeep to the professionals at All Hours Air, there are a few tips for you to use for keeping your A/C clean.

Window Unit Cleaning Step by Step Guide


1).First, disconnect the window units power source, including if it is wired directly to the home. If this is the case, disconnect or turn off the main breaker in the circuit box. For the next important step, you will need either the owners manual or the number to call the manufacturer.

2).Check the owners manual to see how to discharge the Capacitor correctly. The Capacitor is the device that keeps an extra charge to kick-start the motor. This step in necessary because it will make sure there are no electrical charges left on it before you start the cleaning process.

3).Next, clean the outside cover by wiping it down with a wet cloth. Be sure to use a good dirt and grim cleaner so that when you open the cover no loose particles fall inside.

4). Remove the cover from the front of it by either unsnapping it with your hands or removing the screws/plastic hooks that hold the cover in place. Use caution while handling the metal pieces, the edges can be sharp.

5). If the filter to your unit is reusable, remove it and clean it with hot, soapy water until it is nice and clean. To remove all the dust and particle buildup, use a soft brush and gently remove everything. Set the filter in an area where it can dry thoroughly before you put in back the A/C. Putting a damp filter back in will only attract more dirt and mold.

6). If it has a disposable filter, manufacturers recommend changing it monthly to help keep mold at bay.

7). Using a vacuum extension and hose, clean the inside, bottom, back of the cover, sides, and metal grill if the unit has one. If there is a great build-up, a wet cloth is good to use to remove excess grime.

8). Allow it to dry completely before reassembling it back together. Plug it back in, and fire it up. Expect some debris and soot to discharge from the vents once it is back on.

Be sure to store your window air conditioner in a dry area during the winter season to prevent dust and debris from coating the inside of the unit. Call All Hours Air for a more detailed cleaning and servicing of your unit to avoid potential damage that could cost you more money and prevent sickness in the future.

May it be time to step up to a new central cooling unit? We offer installation or replacement of Air Conditioning units for Reno and Sparks residents.

Skip to content