How to clean evaporator coils on a window air conditioner

Cleaning the evaporator coil of a window air conditioner can protect your unit from issues such as blocked airflow, inefficient cooling, and the expenses of energy overuse.


Using an air conditioner means that the more you use it, the more its lifespan decreases. Part of using an air conditioning unit is making sure that though its lifespan is decreasing, it is kept in good, working condition.

To keep your unit in tip-top shape, you should regularly maintain and service it so that all its components are in order, especially the parts that play a critical role in the functioning of the air conditioner, such as the evaporator coil.

Maintaining your window air conditioning unit

If you have a window air conditioner, cleaning its evaporator coils is a vital part of maintaining the unit for optimal performance and to ensure that the unit lasts as long as it possibly can.

The evaporator coils convert hot air in a room into cooler air, so they need to be kept in good working condition.

If evaporator coils malfunction, the window air conditioner is unable to release cool air into the room. For this reason, it is imperative that you know how to clean your unit’s evaporator coil.

How to clean evaporator coils on a window air conditioner

To clean the evaporator coils of your window air conditioner, you first need to switch off the window unit completely and disconnect it from the power source.

Next, you need to locate the evaporator coil inside the unit, which requires special attention, since you have to consult the user manual to ensure you open the unit correctly and know what the evaporator coil is and looks like.

Once you find it, make sure the thermostat is turned off, wear the necessary protective gear, and brush off the build-up of dust to clean the unit properly.

To get rid of finer, more stubborn dust particles, you can use an air compressor. Apply an even amount of air around the coil at a 90-degree angle, and for a deeper clean, use a foaming cleaner for coils.

The importance of cleaning the evaporator coils

Your evaporator and condenser coils work together to lower the temperature in a room. The evaporator coil converts the heat and extracts the humidity (from) inside the home and transports it to the condenser coil where the heat is converted into cooler air that is released into the space.

When the evaporator coil is not cleaned, it can accumulate debris, dust, and dirt that may end up reducing the airflow and preventing the absorption of heat to achieve effective cooling.

When this happens, the unit overworks itself to compensate for the reduction of airflow, using more energy to lower the temperature in the space.

How will you know your evaporator coil needs cleaning?

You will pick up that something is wrong with the air conditioner when you start noticing that the unit no longer cools the way it used to. If an evaporator coil is too dirty, you will likely notice a deterioration in the unit’s cooling efficiency.

This is because dirt can form a layer of insulation between the air and the refrigerant coil, which makes it more difficult for the refrigerant to soak up heated air and increases the room temperature, instead of decreasing it.

The benefits of cleaning your window air conditioner

The most obvious benefit of cleaning your window air conditioner is that it will be in the best working condition to deliver optimal cooling.

When important components like the air filters and coils are cleaned and maintained, the unit will not experience any trouble drawing in hot air and dispersing cooler air into the room.

The window air conditioner will also last longer, provided it is functioning properly. Additionally, cleaning the unit makes it easy to detect mould and other issues earlier than later.

Final thoughts

Vital components of a window air conditioner and any other types of air conditioners need to always be kept in good condition. These can be parts like air filters, condenser coils, and the evaporator coils, which are crucial to the unit’s successful functionality.

The evaporator coil of a window air conditioner needs to be carefully cleaned by brushing the coils to remove dust from it, and in the event that the dust is tough to get rid of, a coil foaming cleaner can be sprayed on the evaporator coil for a more thorough deep clean.

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