How to Clean and Maintain Your Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are a great, cost-efficient way to keep your entire house comfortable throughout the summer. They can be easily moved around, helping you cool down your bedroom or home office for a fraction of the price. However, to ensure your portable air conditioner works at full capacity, you need to learn to clean and maintain it properly.

Here are a few useful tips that can help you take better care of your portable air-conditioning unit, ensuring that it lasts for many years to come.

Clean filters

As a rule of thumb, aim to clean the filters at least once a month or bi-weekly, depending on use. Dirty air filters may hamper the air flow which damages the unit, and also causes it to use more electricity – so by cleaning your portable air conditioner, you’re actually saving yourself some money! If your unit’s filter is washable, slide it out and soak it in a solution of warm weather and a mild detergent. Rinse it thoroughly with water and leave them to dry outside the cooler.

If your portable air conditioner uses a carbon or HEPA filter, remove that as well. Typically, these filters should be replaced rather than cleaned, but follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding their maintenance. If you need to replace, these are easily available at different sellers including Amazon in their parts & accessories section

Drain water

During the cooling process, the unit collects water from the air in the room, and this condensate needs to be removed. Most PACs have an internal tank that collects the excess condensation; make sure to empty it, then wipe the tank gently with a soft cloth, sponge and some warm water. You can also use a solution of mild soap and water, and flush it out with clean, lukewarm water.

Newer models might be easier to clean – the Honeywell MO08CESWK, for instance, comes with a built-in dehumidifier with a continuous drain option which means it can operate unattended for longer periods of time and requires less cleaning.

Clean the pipes

After you drain the tank, clean the pipes to eliminate any mold. Use a 50-50 vinegar and water solution and run it through the cooler for 30 seconds. Make sure to rinse the pipes with clean water when you’re done and run the cooler on fan mode for at least 10-15 minutes after to eliminate the smell of vinegar.

Keep the exterior Clean

Apart from draining the water and replacing the filters, to ensure your portable air conditioner is well maintained, make sure you also clean the exterior every few weeks. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the surface clean (while the unit is switched off) and steer clear of abrasive chemicals or harsh detergents as they may damage the surface.

Deodorizing Options

Cleaning your PAC regularly should help you minimize bad smells but there are also a range of deodorizing options. You can use a few drops of essential oils or a scented disinfectant like Dettol, in your vinegar-water solution – this can help eliminate the musty or moldy odor of your portable air conditioner, and leave your house smelling nice and fresh.


End of Season Storage & Maintenance

A good portable air conditioner maintenance tip is to clean the entire unit twice a year – at the beginning of summer and at the end of the season. Follow these simple steps before storing your portable air conditioner in a dry location (away from direct sunlight) :

  • Be sure to drain the left-over water condensation. Remove the lower drain plug and use a shallow pan to collect the water (make sure to replace the drain plug when finished). To dry excess moisture, run the unit in Fan only mode for 30 minutes before storing.
  • Remove the air filter and clean with water. Dry the air filter and then reinstall.
  • Disconnect the Window Installation Kit
  • Remove the Plastic Hose, Window Bracket, Window Bracket Panel Adapter and Hose Connector and store with the portable air conditioner.


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