DIY Tricks for Cleaning Out your A/C or Swamp Cooler

air conditioner


It’s that time of year when you reactivate your cooling systems.  Having a well ventilated, cool home in the summer is a necessity.  It has probably been awhile since you have seen your A/C or swamp cooler, let alone operated them.

Air conditioners are like anything else – they need to be properly maintained and kept clean if they’re going to run at their maximum potential.

The problem is many people forget to do this with their A/C units.

After a couple seasons of storage, the dust build up inside these appliances can be massive.  You wouldn’t light an old, dust-filled fireplace before cleaning it, so why turn on a dirty air system?

The biggest problem that arises from improper upkeep of your air conditioner is that a dirty A/C won’t run as well, which will use extra energy trying to cool your home and cost you more money in electricity over the long haul. To help keep your /AC unit in top shape, here’s a quick how-to guide to make your cooling system work to the best of its ability:

How To Clean Your Air Conditioner

Depending on the type and style of your air conditioning, the steps will vary slightly. We have listed 3 different types of air conditioning and the steps to clean them…

Central air, indoor unit

  1. Turn the power off, open up the front and swap out the old filter for a new one.
  2. Vacuum out dust from the blower compartment.
  3. Check for algae in the condensation tube. If there is build up, run 1 part bleach, 16 parts water through it.
  4. Clean the drain tube with a bristled brush.

Outdoor a/c unit

  1. Power down.
  2. Vacuum the condenser fins on the top.
  3. Remove the fan if possible and wipe it down.
  4. Hose down the inside of the unit, let dry, reassemble, and power on.

Individual room air conditioner

  1. Turn off.
  2. Remove exhaust panel and vacuum it out.
  3. Check and clean draining areas with brush.
  4. Vacuum the filter and the outside grille.

How To Clean Your Swamp Cooler

  1. Power down, turn off water.
  2. Take off back panel and old fiber pads.
  3. Open the drain plug and drain the water.
  4. Scrub the inside of the swamp cooler.
  5. Soak white vinegar in the water reservoir for an hour, then scrub and rinse.
  6. Cut new fiber padding using the old ones as a size pattern.
  7. Turn on water, fill the reservoir, adjusting the float if necessary.
  8. Reattach the back and power cooler on.

Read more about swamp cooler maintenance here.

Transitioning from cool to warm seasons requires a large adjustment in your home and its appliances.

Knock a few tasks off your list with help from Handyman Matters.  We do everything from small repairs to total overhauls.

Enjoy the sun, and let us take care of the dirty work, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME.