How to Clean your Aircon and Fans – the easy way!

How to Clean your Aircon and Fans – the easy way!

With the year-round hot weather in Dubai, air conditioning and fans have become completely essential for most of us. Whether you have an aircon, a ceiling fan, or some standing fans, they all require some love and attention in the form of cleaning.

Although this is one of the jobs that we constantly move to the bottom of our to-do lists, it’s one that is really important. After cleaning your AC unit and fans, your air will be cleaner, less polluted, and your equipment will work more efficiently. You don’t necessarily have to go through the hassle of arranging an AC company to come in and clean your device. You can do it now the easy and hassle free way yourself. 

And the job doesn’t have to be hard! We’ve broken down the process into simple steps that won’t take you a lifetime to complete. So read on to find out how to clean your air conditioning and your dusty fans whilst keeping your cool.

How to clean the aircon

Aircon cleaning seems like a big and scary task, but it’s actually pretty easy. This chore becomes even less daunting when you realise that it could save you money in the long run. A clean AC unit uses less energy to keep your home cool than a dirty one, as well as reducing allergens in the air in your home. Save money and your health just with a simple cleaning session.

We’ve split the cleaning process into four simple tasks that you can take on one by one.

1. Turn off your air conditioning unit and unplug it from the mains.

2. Clean the main body of the unit inside and out:

  • If you have a split unit, which tends to be the most common model, lift the lid and carefully remove the filter. Wipe away the dust inside the lid with a soft cloth, then clean with some soapy water. You can use a dry brush to clean the outer grate. Make sure everything is completely dry before putting it back in the unit.
  • If you have an aircon attached to the window, remove the cover and wipe it with a damp cloth. Use a brush to remove any dirt inside the unit. You can also use this moment to clean the window under the AC unit. Wait until the glass is completely dry before you reattach it.

3. Remove the filters and clean them under running water. You can also use the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust. After cleaning, make sure they’re fully dry before putting them back into the unit.

Aircon filters remove particles from the air to make it cleaner – if the filters are dirty, they filter out fewer particles, causing polluted air and bad smells. It’s best to clean them once or twice a month to keep your air clean and fresh, and your aircon working at its best.

4. Brush away any dust on the air conditioner coils with a stiff brush. Cover any electric wires or moving parts with plastic, and then use a spray bottle to clean off dirt and debris trapped in the coils. You can simply use water for this. If there’s a lot of dirt, try using  some foaming cleaner (biodegradable is best) mixed with water. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and the dirt should be gone. Repeat if necessary.

Extend the life of your unit by cleaning your air conditioner thoroughly once a year, and your filters once or twice a month. Not only will this prolong your aircon’s lifespan, but it will also save you money on your electricity bills – a clean AC is more efficient. Better for your wallet, better for the environment. Everyone’s happy!

Cleaning Aircon Filters

How to clean ceiling fans

If you don’t have aircon, or simply want to save some cash by switching your ceiling fan on instead, it still needs some care and cleaning. Dust and dirt accumulates on the fan’s blades, and this is then blown into the air in your home when you switch it on. This can make allergies worse, not to mention the nasty feeling of breathing in a few months’ worth of dust.

Cleaning the ceiling fan and its blades is a really simple task, but one that needs to be done carefully. You’ll need to stand on a ladder to reach the fan, so make sure you have someone to hold the ladder and catch you if you fall!

Our cleaning method means that you won’t end up with the dust from your fan blades all over your house. All you need is a pillowcase (yes, a pillowcase!) and a damp cloth.

1. Place your ladder under the ceiling fan, and climb it until you can comfortably reach one of the blades.

2. Now you’ll need the pillowcase (you can ask the person steadying the ladder to pass it to you). Place the pillowcase around the blade, as though the fan blade is a pillow that you’re putting inside it. Once it’s around the whole blade, pull the pillowcase back, wiping the dust from the top of the fan blade into the inside of the pillowcase.

3. Turn the fan, and repeat on each blade.

4. Use the damp cloth to wipe any bits of remaining dust off each blade. As the cloth is damp, the dirt will stick to the cloth rather than get spread around the room.

5. Now you have a sparkling clean fan! To deal with the dusty pillowcase, just shake it into an outdoor bin, then wash inside-out in the washing machine. This will get rid of the dust and dirt for good.

Standing Fan

How to clean standing fans

Another cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative to aircon is an electric floor fan. These fans can be moved between rooms and some even have a dehumidifying function. Just like the ceiling fan, dust and dirt accumulates on the blades causing allergens in the air, so these fans should be cleaned every few weeks.

1. Make sure the fan is unplugged before you start (an obvious but easy mistake!). Move the fan to a hard floor that can be wiped down afterwards. You can also place a sheet or bin bag underneath it to keep the floor clean. But don’t worry if a bit of dirt gets on your carpet, as it can be cleaned up easily.

2. Dismantle the fan to clean it thoroughly. Remove the case carefully – there are often buttons either side that you can push to release the casing, or a screw that holds the two halves of the case together.

3. Once the casing is removed, wipe it over with a cloth dipped soapy water. You could use a solution of water and lemon or vinegar for this, too, which is an even greener solution.

4. Remove the blades and place them in a bucket or container of soapy water (again, lemon juice or vinegar mixed with water would also work). Leave these to soak for a couple of minutes. Then remove from the container, rinse or wipe thoroughly with clean water, and dry the fan blades fully before putting them back in place.

5. Wipe the stand and base with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dust and dirt.

If you can’t take your fan apart (or you simply don’t want to), you can use a vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle to reach the small corners where the dust builds up. This won’t get your fan quite so clean, but does guarantee you’ll avoid the “where does this bit go again?” panic.

Use these simple tips to clean your fans and aircon and get clean, fresh air into your home. They’ll also extend the life of your equipment and save you some money on utility bills at the same time!

Do you have any extra tips for cleaning your AC unit or fans? Let us know in the comments!

British Natalie lives in Berlin, but is a Parisian at heart. Her love of all things clean and organised means she's always got a useful tip or two up her sleeve.