DIY Maintenance Tips: How to Clean Split-Type Aircon

Are you struggling to keep your split-type aircon clean and well-maintained? Whether you’ve owned one for years or are considering investing in this type of cooling system, it’s important to understand the basics of maintaining it.

Split-type aircon is popular in the Philippines, offering efficient cooling without occupying too much space. These systems consist of an outdoor and an indoor unit and work harmoniously to provide comfort.

However, owning a split-type aircon necessitates regular maintenance and cleaning. Neglecting this essential task can lead to reduced efficiency and mold growth. In this article, we’ll guide you step-by-step on how to clean split type aircon while sharing crucial tips to ensure its smooth operation. So prepare yourself, and let’s dive in!


Understanding the Parts of Split-type Aircon

Parts of Split-type Aircon
Cre: Mercury Heating & Cooling

To properly clean and maintain your split-type aircon, it’s important to have a basic understanding of its components. That will help you identify problem areas and know which parts are prone to dirt and debris.

The main components of a split-type aircon include:

  1. Outdoor unit: This is the part of the aircon that is installed outside the building. It houses the compressor, condenser, and other key components.
  2. Indoor unit: This unit is mounted on the wall inside the room you want to cool. It contains the evaporator coil, blower, and air filters.
  3. Refrigerant lines: These are the copper tubes that make a connection between the outdoor and indoor unit, allowing the refrigerant to circulate.
  4. Drainage system: Split-type aircon has a drainage system to remove condensation. That usually includes a drain pipe or hose.

Knowing these parts of your split-type aircon is essential for understanding how to clean and maintain it effectively. Certain parts, such as the air filters and condenser coils, are more prone to collecting dirt and debris and require more frequent cleaning.

When inspecting your aircon, here are some tips to help you identify problem areas:

  • Check for visible signs of dirt or dust buildup on the aircon units.
  • Listen for any unusual sounds which could indicate an issue with the fan or compressor.
  • Pay attention to any changes in the aircon’s cooling performance, such as less efficient cooling or uneven airflow.
  • Look for signs of water leakage or condensation, which may indicate a blockage or improper drainage.

By familiarizing yourself with the components of your split-type aircon and being mindful of problem areas, you can proactively address issues and prevent costly breakdowns in the future.


Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Before diving into the cleaning process, taking some safety precautions and gathering the necessary tools and materials is important. That will ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning experience.

Safety Precautions Before Cleaning

Safety precautions before cleaning
Cre: Cielo WiGle
  • Turn off the power: Before starting any cleaning work, make sure to turn off the power supply. That can usually be done by turning off the dedicated circuit breaker for the aircon.
  • Wear protective gear: To protect yourself from dust, dirt, and cleaning chemicals, it’s advisable to wear gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines: Refer to the aircon’s user manual or manufacturer guidelines for specific safety precautions or recommendations.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Cloth or soft brush: To remove dirt and dust from the aircon units.
  • A brush-attached vacuum cleaner: To help effectively clean hard-to-reach areas and remove loose dirt.
  • Water spray bottle: Fill this with a cleaning solution made of mild detergent and water.
  • Fin comb: To straighten bent fins on the outdoor unit.
  • ·Screwdriver: To remove any necessary panels or covers for cleaning.
  • Water hose or bucket of water: To rinse and clean certain parts.

How to Clean Split-type Aircon: The Main Part

Cleaning your split-type aircon involves two primary tasks: cleaning the outdoor and indoor units. Each unit requires specific cleaning techniques and precautions to ensure optimal results.

Cleaning the Outdoor Unit

Step 1 – Remove debris: Inspect the outdoor unit for any leaves, twigs, or debris that might be obstructing the airflow. Use a cloth or soft brush to remove the unit’s debris gently.

Step 2 – Clean the condenser coils: The condenser coils in the outdoor unit play a crucial role in transferring heat away from the aircon system. Follow these steps to clean the condenser coils:

  • Spray the coils with water.
  • Use a cloth or a soft brush to scrub the coils.
  • Rinse the coils thoroughly.
  • Allow the coils to dry completely before turning the power back on.

Step 3 – Straighten bent fins: The thin metal fins around the condenser coils are delicate and can easily bend, restricting airflow. To straighten bent fins, use a fin comb tool, gently aligning the fins in their upright position.

Step 4 – Inspect the fan: Inspect the fan blades for visible dirt or damage. If needed, clean the fan blades with a soft brush or cloth. Ensure that the fan spins freely without any resistance.

Cleaning the Indoor Unit

Cleaning the Indoor Unit
Cre: Carrier Air Conditioning

Step 1 – Remove the air filters: The air filters in the indoor unit are responsible for trapping dust and other particles, ensuring clean air circulation. Follow the steps below to clean the air filters:

  • Locate the filter access panel and gently remove the panel.
  • Take out the air filters and check for any visible dirt or debris.
  • If the filters are washable, rinse them under running water or soak them in mild detergent and water. Allow them to dry completely before reinstalling.
  • If the filters are not washable, replace them with new ones per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 2 – Clean the evaporator coil: The evaporator coil in the indoor unit absorbs heat from the room, cooling it down. To clean the evaporator coil:

  • Carefully inspect the coil for any visible dirt or dust.
  • Use a soft brush or cloth to remove the dirt gently.
  • If needed, use a water spray bottle to mist the coil with a mild cleaning solution and then rinse it with water.

Step 3 – Clean the drain pan and drainage system: The drain pan collects condensate from the indoor unit. To clean the drain pan and drainage system:

  • Remove any visible debris or dirt.
  • Mix a cleaning solution of mild detergent and water, then gently pour it into the drain pan and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Rinse the drain pan and drainage system with water.
  • Consider disinfecting the drain pan with a small amount of bleach diluted with water.

Step 4 – Reassemble the indoor unit: Carefully reassemble the air filters and the filter access panel once the cleaning is complete.

Possible Problems During the Cleaning Process

  • Water leakage: Water leakage may indicate a blockage in the drainage system. Check for any clogs in the drain pipe or hose and clear them using a small brush or flushing water through the system.
  • Inadequate cooling: If your aircon is not cooling properly after cleaning, check if all the panels and covers are properly reassembled, as gaps or loose connections can affect cooling performance.
  • Unusual sounds: Such sounds as rattling, clicking, or grinding could indicate a loose or damaged component. In such cases, contacting a professional aircon technician is advisable.

Remember, if you’re unsure about any aspect of the cleaning process or encounter a more complex problem, it’s always best to seek assistance from a qualified aircon technician.


Post-Cleaning Guide

How to clean split type aircon

Once you’ve completed the cleaning process and are ready to turn on your split-type aircon, there are a few additional tips to ensure optimal performance.

Properly Turn On the Unit

First, switch on the circuit breaker. Turn on the aircon using the remote or the unit’s control panel. Select your desired cooling settings and temperature.

Then, listen for any unusual sounds or observe any abnormal behavior during the first few minutes of the operation. Report any concerns to a professional technician if necessary.

Tips on How to Schedule Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Set a cleaning schedule: Create a routine for cleaning your split-type aircon, considering factors such as the environment, usage, and manufacturer recommendations. Regular cleaning can help prevent excessive dirt buildup and keep your aircon functioning optimally.
  • Professional maintenance: It’s also beneficial to schedule periodic professional maintenance for your aircon. An experienced technician can process a thorough inspection, perform any necessary repairs, and ensure all components are in optimal condition. That can help extend the lifespan of your aircon and maximize its energy efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I clean my split-type aircon myself?

Yes, you can clean your split-type aircon yourself.
Start by turning off the power and unplugging the AC. Remember that there are two units to deal with: indoor and outdoor.
Remove the filter and clean it with mild soap and water. Use a soft cloth to wipe dust and dirt from the unit’s exterior. You can also use a brush-attached vacuum cleaner to clean the coils.
Refer to the detailed guide in this blog, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and exercise caution while cleaning.

How do I know when my split aircon needs cleaning?

There are a few signs that indicate your split aircon may need cleaning.
First, if you notice reduced cooling performance or weak airflow, it may be due to a dirty filter or blocked condenser coils. If you see a buildup of dust or dirt on the unit’s exterior or notice a musty odor coming from the vents, it’s another indication that cleaning is required.

How often should the aircon be cleaned in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, cleaning the aircon at least twice a year is recommended. Due to the high humidity and tropical climate, air conditioners tend to collect more dust, dirt, and mold than other regions. Additionally, having your aircon inspected and maintained by a professional at least once a year is essential to ensure its longevity and efficiency.


The Bottom Line

cleaning a split type aircon

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your split-type aircon are crucial to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. It also contributes to healthy indoor air quality, helps prevent mold growth, and minimizes the possibility of expensive repairs or system malfunctions.

Following the step-by-step guide on how to clean split-type aircon provided in this blog post, you can effectively clean your aircon and maintain a comfortable, cool environment in your home or office.

So, take charge of your comfort and keep your aircon running smoothly with these DIY maintenance tips. Stay cool!

Have a look at other posts in our Cleaning Series. For a full list of “Cleaning” posts, see here.
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Beryl, a Pharmacy graduate, combines her academic expertise with a passion for cozy homes at Hometoppicks. With 3+ years of experience in researching and testing household and home care products, Beryl manages related content at Hometoppicks. Trust in her meticulous nature and profound knowledge to provide reliable advice and product suggestions, ensuring your home remains comfortable and convenient. You can find more about her here.

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