A Deep Dive Into Aircon Deep Cleaning: What You Need to Know

Air conditioning (AC) units are a staple in many homes and offices.

In Singapore, since it has a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures that can be quite hot throughout the year, air conditioning units are common in the country.

Many residential buildings and commercial establishments are equipped with air conditioning systems to ensure a comfortable living and working environment for residents, employees, and visitors.

That said, simply having a unit installed and then forgetting about it is not enough.

Proper maintenance is crucial to lengthening its life cycle.

One vital part of that maintenance is what is known as “aircon deep cleaning.” You may also have heard this referred to as an “aircon chemical wash.”

What is Aircon Deep Cleaning?

Aircon deep cleaning involves thoroughly cleaning an air conditioner’s individual components using specially formulated chemical solutions.

To be clear, this is very different from your regular dusting or vacuuming of the external unit.

Rather, it goes deep into the machine’s insides to root out any stubborn grime, dust, and bacteria that basic cleaning might miss.

So, you might ask me, what’s the point of deep cleaning?

Well, this process can revitalise your unit, potentially making it work as efficiently as when it was brand new.

In addition, it helps to improve the air quality, performance, and lifespan of your unit. By doing so, you can save yourself money in the long-term energy costs and from expensive repair or replacement.

What are the Steps Involved in Aircon Deep Cleaning?

Please note that deep cleaning should always be done by a professional since it involves dismantling the unit and using chemical solutions.

That said, here is a basic rundown of how it is done:

  1. The technician begins by disassembling the unit.
  2. The parts are cleaned using chemical solutions. This is done not only to remove accumulated dirt and grime but also to kill bacteria, thus, helping to improve air quality.
  3. All parts will be checked for any possible damage.
  4. Fan bearings will be lubricated to reduce noise and ensure the smooth operation of the unit.
  5. Finally, the aircon is reassembled and tested to confirm if it is working properly.

Warning Signs Your Aircon Needs a Deep Clean

Routine maintenance of your aircon includes regular cleaning that you can often do yourself. However, there are situations where an aircon deep cleaning becomes necessary.

Here are a few signs you should watch out for:

Reduced cooling efficiency:

One of the most obvious signs that your aircon might need a deep cleaning is a noticeable decrease in cooling efficiency. Basically, if your unit is taking longer than usual to cool the room or if the air coming gout is not as cold as it used to be, this could be due to a buildup of dirt and grime on the evaporator coil, obstructing the airflow. It can also be a symptom of clogged filters. These problems can be addressed by deep cleaning.

Increased energy consumption

When the aircon components are covered in grime, they have to work harder to cool the space. As such, it can lead to higher energy usage. So, if you notice a sudden surge in your electric bill without a corresponding increase in usage of any of your appliances, maybe it’s time to consider deep cleaning.

Unusual noises

Air conditioners are built to operate relatively quietly. So, if you start hearing unusual noises like grinding, squeaking, or buzzing, it could indicate a problem. Sure, there can be a plethora of issues why this happened but a common cause for this is that dirt and grime have caused parts to become misaligned or obstructed, thus, leading to these noises.

Bad odour

Foul smells coming from your aircon are another sign that a deep cleaning might be necessary. A musty smell can suggest the presence of mould or mildew inside the unit. This is likely caused by excessive moisture and lack of ventilation. In addition, a burning smell could indicate dust accumulation on the electric coil or overheating components.

Water leaks

Excess water or noticeable leaks from your aircon unit can be a symptom of a clogged condensation line. This is often due to dust or algae growth. A deep cleaning service can unclog this line and prevent water leaks and it can help avoid potential water damage to your property.

Presence of ice

Seeing ice on your aircon unit is a clear indication that something’s not right. This can happen when the evaporator coil gets too cold due to reduced airflow from a clogged air filter or blocked ducts. Because of this, the coil’s surface temperature drops and the humidity in the air freezes onto the coil, thus, creating ice.

The Benefits of Aircon Deep Cleaning

  1. Improved performance: A deep clean can improve the efficiency of your aircon, helping it to cool your room faster and reducing energy consumption.
  2. Longer lifespan: The average lifespan of an AC unit is around 15 to 20 years. So, with regular deep cleaning, you can extend the lifespan of your unit to be well between its intended use, or even more.
  3. Better air quality: The removal of dust, grime, and bacteria can significantly improve the air quality in your home, providing a healthier living environment. With Singapore being a rapidly ageing society, having a healthy living environment is a must.
  4. Cost savings: Sure, the upfront cost of deep cleaning may be high, but doing so can still help you save money in the long run in terms of lower energy costs and preventing expensive repairs or replacements.

Frequency of Aircon Deep Cleaning

Since Singapore has a tropical climate, AC units are used constantly. As such, various experts around the internet suggest having your unit deep cleaned at least once a year, especially for residential units. That said, the frequency of chemically washing your air conditioner depends on various factors such as how often the aircon is used, the cleanliness of the surrounding environment, and whether there are pets or smokers in the home. For commercial units or homes with allergy sufferers, it might be advisable to schedule a deep clean every six months.


  • Residential units: at least once a year
  • Commercial units: at least every six months

How to Choose the Right Professional?

When it comes to selecting a professional for your aircon deep cleaning, several factors should be considered to ensure a thorough and safe job.

1) Experience and training

The first thing to look for in a professional cleaning service is their experience and training. With an experienced professional, they will be familiar with different models of air conditioners and know how to handle them safely and efficiently.

They should also have formal training. This ensures that they know how to use the chemicals involved in the deep cleaning process.

2) Licensing and insurance

Always choose a licensed service provider. Licensing assures you that the provider is compliant with local regulations and standards.

Also, make sure that the provider has insurance coverage. This is to ensure that in the event of any damage during the cleaning process, you want to be sure you will not bear the financial burden.

3) Reputation and reviews

Check the reviews and ratings of various clients. Having many good reviews is a good indication that the provider is a good one. Be wary of providers with numerous negative reviews or no online presence at all.

4) Transparent pricing

Good service providers will be upfront about their pricing and provide a detailed breakdown of the costs. So, be cautious of companies that offer extremely low prices as this could mean they are cutting corners. Similarly, very high prices don’t always guarantee better service. Look for a provider that offers a balance between cost and quality of service.

Final Thoughts

Aircon deep cleaning is an essential part of maintaining your air conditioning unit.

This type of cleaning is more than just regular cleaning. Rather, this cleaning can revitalise your unit and make it work more efficiently while also lengthening its lifespan.

Remember, though, that because of the chemical usage and the need for dismantling the unit, it’s a job for the professionals. Choose your service provider carefully, and you can look forward to enjoying the benefits of a cleaner, healthier, and more efficient aircon.



Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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