How to de-mold an air conditioner?
July 24, 2014 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I have 2 window A/Cs that are pretty standard as far as those things go. They have a ton of black mold in the output fan area, and presumably within the A/C workings themselves. Is there any way to reliably get rid of this mold? Or should I simply replace them (possible, if not ideal?)
posted by the young rope-rider to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you considered scrubbing them down with and then running a vinegar or bleach solution through it? I have no experience with A/C units, but this is what I do with my humidifier when it gets moldy (when I let it sit too long with the water in it without running it). I use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub everything with a 10% bleach solution or 50-50 vinegar/water solution, rinse with the solution a few times, then with clean water a few times and let it dry completely before using it again.

There must also be some information from the manufacturer about how to deal with mold--I doubt it's an uncommon problem--so it might be worth a call or email to them to try to find out what they recommend.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 2:50 PM on July 24, 2014

We just successfully cleaned one using this method. In the future we'll basically do this every year when we remove them, it was something that slipped our radar coming from a drier climate.

If you've already installed and used them it might be worthwhile to give things a wipedown with something like a bathroom mildew cleaner, and give upholstery a good cleaning, just in case they've spit out any spores already.
posted by padraigin at 5:18 PM on July 24, 2014

Yeah, The mold thing on window air conditioners is a real bummer. I definitely think its more of a problem now, since manufacturers now use styrofoam insulation inside of window units. Styrofoam, with its irregular surface, is a dream vacation destination for mildew and mold. I've found that in some cases I had to pull the AC, take it into the driveway and pretty much completely disassemble it. I've gone so far as to slowly replace our previous units (Frigidaires, which look pretty and have lots of whizz bang features, but are impossible to get to all of the mold) with Friedrichs. The regular models are all slide out units with front faces that can be completely removed. I've found that I can spray the interior with a bleach solution and wipe out the vast majority of it. And it also helps they come apart relatively easily, in case going in the front isn't enough one day. They do cost more than Frigidaire and Samsung units, but they're much better made, more efficient and typically quieter. Being easier to clean is the cherry on top for me.

On our last non Freidrich with the non removable front, all I can do is spray lysol inside the vents and in the evaporator and hope for the best. It seems to work, as Mrs. Chosemerveilleux has asthma and both of us have allergies, and we seem to be doing rather well with all of our units on almost constantly this time of year. Good luck.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 5:58 PM on July 24, 2014

« Older Rotating mount for large monitor   |   I want to learn new life skills. Starting points? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.