How Can I Remove Mildew From An Air Conditioner?

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Old 07-31-2011, 10:40 AM
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How can I remove mildew from an air conditioner?

I think the air conditioner is making me sick! My eye run, chest and nose congested, headache, and I feel itchy all summer.

I have decided that it is the air conditioner. (perhaps I am crazy)

The air conditioner in the bedroom smells bad when it runs and when I cleaned (what I could reach) it was black with (I think) mildew. I live in an apartment, so I don't really want to buy a new one. I called the landlord and he told me to clean it.


Has anyone else had this problem?
Does anyone know how to make it fresh and clean?

thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2011, 02:12 PM

RE: How can I remove mildew from an air conditioner?

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If the black mess is in the duct work it needs to have new duct work. It is usually fiberglass and anything you use to clean it will just destroy the duct work. If it is a window unit or it is in the area of the coils you can use a vegetable brush with bleach or white vinegar to clean the coils - DO NOT SCRUB them hard or you will bend the fins and make it useless. I work for an A/C contractor and we always use vinegar to clean coils and drain pans since it is a lot gentler to the system than the cleaners the supply stores carry (and it is a lot cheaper). This is NOT your responsibility it is the responsibility of the landlord UNLESS your lease does not mention that the unit has A/C. Landlords are NOT required to provide A/C only heat - even in Florida where we have 11 months of summer. HTH
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:18 PM

RE: How can I remove mildew from an air conditioner?

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Thank you for your reply. This has been a problem for a while. I am so relieved that there is a fix. If you have time, I have a few questions.


It is a "window" unit, but it is below the window in the wall.


Do I pull it out? Or leave it in the wall to clean? How do I get into it to clean it?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:06 PM

RE: How can I remove mildew from an air conditioner?

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Actually that is a ptac unit. It is mounted in the wall and there should be screws on the outside (I hope you are on the first floor) that can be removed with a screw driver. You will see these things that look like a car radiator - that is the coils. Use a spray bottle to spray bleach or vinegar on the coils and then carefully rinse them off with water. Make sure the vinegar/bleach smell is gone when you are done or your apartment will smell like it. HTH
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