How To Clean & Disinfect Air Conditioners Like A Pro

Say goodbye to dirty air conditioners that reduce air quality and increase the growth of harmful bacteria with our expert tips and tricks.
23 March, 2023 by
How To Clean & Disinfect Air Conditioners Like A Pro
XO2® Pty Ltd, David Blamire

It is no secret, we Australians rely on air conditioners to keep us cool (around 64% every summer) but did you know you need to clean your air conditioning unit regularly? 

Just like your oven, vacuum cleaner, and fridge, that handy dandy air conditioner needs a regular spruce up or you may find it becomes less effective. 

Dirty air conditioners can even harbour harmful bacteria, germs, and mould that could cause you and your family to fall incredibly ill.

But fear not!

Cleaning your air conditioner is not as tricky as it might seem.

We will break down how you can clean your air conditioner, chat about the cleaning products you need in your arsenal and take the overwhelm out of keeping your unit in tip-top condition.

How to do a 'clean and disinfect' air conditioner treatment

1. Turn off the power

We do not like to presume but this is common sense. You do not want a shred of electricity coursing through your air conditioner when you clean it unless you are prepared for a zap or two.

You might also want to quickly scan your manufacturer's instructions, especially if you aren't sure how to clean your air conditioner. 

Yes, they can be full of jargon and boring bits. However, tucked in between those dull paragraphs is some handy care advice for your machine.

If you do not follow your manufacturer's instructions and your air conditioner decides to meet its maker, you could void its warranty. 

2. Clean the filters

Now you need to locate your air conditioner filters. Most unit designs will house the filters in the front. 

It is pretty obvious what these do. Filtering the air that runs through your unit, they ensure that every breath of air and cool breeze in your home is free from as much dust, pollen, bacteria, and even pet dander as possible. 

But these filters get dirty fast. 

Here are some issues you might face if you do not keep your AC filters clean:
• Unreliable and uncomfortable temperatures
• Build up of allergens in your home
• The internal unit can freeze up
• Blocked airflow from a build-up of dust
• Poor air quality in your home
• Unsafe mould growth
• Overgrowth of bacteria and germs

Remove your filters and give them a good shake outside to get rid of any dust and debris. You may need to use a soft cloth or brush to help remove any dirt if there is a significant build-up.

Then give them a good scrub in warm soapy water.


If you want to ensure that all bacteria are gone, use an air conditioner cleaner like Air Guardian, which kills 99.999% of germs and is proven to kill viruses like Covid 19 and E-Coli.

3. Clean The Coils

Most air conditioners have condenser coils and evaporator coils. 

These nifty little things are the heart of your air conditioning unit and they work perfectly together to create that luscious cool air you love. 

If cleaned regularly, these coils only need a gentle brush with a soft-bristled cleaning brush or a speciality coil brush.

However, if it has been a little longer than it should have been since your last spring clean, you may find a build-up of grime on the coils.

If this is the case, you can use an air conditioner treatment or cleaner to make everything is as clean as a whistle once more. 

4. Dry Everything And Put It Back

Once you are sure everything is clean and shiny, you can reassemble your air conditioner.

Make sure every component you have cleaned is completely dry before you do this or you could risk electrocution or a short circuit when you switch your unit back on. 

Once everything is back in its rightful place, you can switch your air conditioner back on and enjoy.

How often should I clean my air conditioner?

Ah, the elusive ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question.

Honestly, there’s no concrete answer as to how often you should clean your air conditioner but we can give you a sweet guideline to make life a little easier.

Every 1-2 weeks: Run your AC unit on its dry mode to reduce a build-up of moisture, mould, and bad smells.

Every 1-2 months: Wipe down the exterior with an air conditioner cleaner and use a disinfectant spray on the inside.

Every 4-6 months: Check over the filters. If they are looking a little grubby, give them a clean. If they look damaged and worse for wear, now is the time to replace them. 

Annually: Once a year you will have to do a full clean. Take out the removable bits. Give everything a really good, deep scrub and don’t forget to disinfect your air conditioner, inside and out.

Should I change my air conditioner filters?

In short, yes. You should be changing your filters regularly. 

It is one of the most important parts of your unit and you want to make sure it is up to the job.

Wear and tear is inevitable over time and this can reduce how well it provides your home with clean, healthy air. Even if you clean your filters often, the effectiveness of your unit can be reduced if there is any damage.

What air conditioner cleaners should you use?

You can certainly get away with plain soap and water, or even a dash of cleaning vinegar for good measure when you clean your air conditioner but you may still have some bacteria, germs, and even viruses hanging around. 

And let's be honest, no one likes the idea of germs like E-Coli, Salmonella, and even influenza floating around your home.

The best way to ensure your air conditioner is completely clean is to use cleaning products designed for your unit.

We recommend choosing an air conditioner treatment that kills a wide variety of germs, bacteria, and viruses to cover your bases and get the best clean you deserve. 

Your home should be a place of safety. Not just for your health but your family too and a reliable cleaner can help you do this.

Air Guardian: The air conditioner disinfectant treatment that does it all

Eco-friendly cleaning products, air conditioner treatments, and A/C disinfectants. There are so many products out there it can become overwhelming.

All you want is one product that does what it is supposed to. 

That is why we designed Air Guardian. 

Not only does it kill 99.999% of germs and viruses, but it also helps to lift grime and dirt while being gentle on your air conditioner.

Hospital-grade and fragrance-free, Air Guardian is an eco-friendly air conditioner cleaner that has never and never will be, tested on animals. 

But who is Air Guardian for?

It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a professional air conditioner maintenance person, Air guardian is for you. What if you are a DIYer trying to save a few dollars? You guessed it. Air Guardian is for you. 

Unlike many other cleaners in Australia, Air Guardian is listed with the TGA, so you know our product is good for your health and your home. 

How do I use Air Guardian?

Air guardian has been designed to be a multi-purpose air conditioner cleaner. 

Not only can you use it as a simple, quick, and effective disinfectant treatment by simply spraying the solution on your AC unit and letting it dry. You can also use it to thoroughly clean and disinfect your unit during its yearly spruce-up. 

That’s right, with Air Guardian you won't need a million different cleaning products to do every individual job. 

Just one bottle will cover every cleaning need for your air conditioner. 

Interested? We knew you would be. 

Click here to learn more about Air Guardian.

David Blamire, CEO at XO2

David is one of Australia's leading cleaning industry innovators. He's spent his entire working life solving cleaning challenges others thought were impossible. He's best known for his product creation and development skills along with a deep knowledge of business operations and all things ERP. In his spare time, David's a keen fisherman and adventurer. And he doesn't mind if you call him Davo.

Get in touch with David at He works from XO2's national headquarters and manufacturing centre in Queensland, Australia.

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