How to Clean Mold from Air Conditioner Coils

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Updated May 18, 2023

The best air conditioners need routine maintenance to stay in working order. This includes tasks like cleaning filters, air ducts, and more. Today you’ll learn how to remove mold from air conditioner coils so that you can avoid the potential health issues that this can cause. First, turn off the power. Then, remove the panel and use a soft brush to gently remove any debris. Next, create a mixture of water and vinegar or bleach and either spray it onto the coils or use a sponge to apply it. Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes. Ensure to scrub the coils thoroughly with a soft brush or sponge, especially in those areas where mold is visible. Finally, rinse the coils using clean water and let them air dry completely. Once dry, reassemble everything and turn the power back on. To prevent future mold, keep the area clean and less humid.

It may be important to know what type of coils you have as well; you can learn about the differences when we compare aluminum and copper ac coils. Be sure to know how to clean AC coils as well, regardless of their material.


  • Air conditioner units can be prone to growing mold simply because of the amount of moisture and debris inside them.
  • If your AC is infected with mold, cleaning your AC with a mold control product as quickly as possible is necessary.
  • Remove the unit’s front panel to gain access to the evaporator coils, then vacuum the area out, scrub it down, and apply a mold removal cleaner.

Removing Mold from the Coils of an AC Unit

Indoor air quality is important to your health. When air conditioning units start growing mold, you can be assured that this will cause health issues. From headaches to allergies to rashes, mold spores can cause multiple health problems.

Insider Tip

Keeping your filter clean is the best way to improve indoor air quality.

This is why it’s important to know how to stop an air conditioner from leaking water. Dust particles inevitably get into your system when air is blown over the evaporator coils. A coating of dust combined with excess moisture provides a breeding ground for mold in air conditioner coils.

However, this isn’t the only problem you might have with an AC. For example, you might hear your unit making excessive noise, so learning how to reduce the noise of an air conditioner might be helpful. And if noise is a problem, knowing how to oil an air conditioner fan motor will help, too. Additionally, knowing how to fix an air conditioner compressor will likely come in handy at some point.

STEP 1 Unplug the Unit and Remove the Front Access Panel

It is vital that you unplug your air conditioner from its power outlet before beginning this process to avoid injury. Next, remove the front panel using a screwdriver.

STEP 2 Remove the Filter and Clean the Inside the AC

Remove the old filter. If it’s reusable, clean it with soap and water. Otherwise, if it’s disposable, toss it as you’ll need to replace it with a fresh one after you’re done cleaning. Vacuum out the unit, sucking up all the clumps of dust and debris. Then, use a soft brush to work off the built-on gunk, and use your shop vacuum to remove what you manage to scrape off.

STEP 3 Apply Mold Cleaner

Apply a mold cleaner to the evaporator coils and anywhere else you see mold growth, according to the solution’s directions. Wash the inside of the unit thoroughly, paying special attention to the spots where mold seems the worst. Use warm water and a general coil cleaner solution to finish up. If you’re fairly new to the world of AC units and are thinking to yourself, “What does an evaporator coil do?”, it’d be a good idea to familiarize yourself with its basic function first.


Don’t forget to limit microphone access, as well, for more well-rounded security regarding your built-in microphone.

STEP 4 Allow the Unit to Dry and Reassemble It

Once you’re done cleaning, let the unit dry completely. After it’s dry, replace the filter and the access panel and plug the cleaned unit back into the power outlet.

STAT: The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and renewable heating and cooling industries employed 165,307 people in California in 2020. (source)

How to Remove Mold from Air Conditioner Coils FAQs

How do I check my coils for mold?

All you have to do is open that access panel and look inside. You’ll be looking for any black or green spots on your coils or any other strange growths. A musty smell is another indicator.

Why makes an AC a hotbed for mold growth?

Several factors can make an AC susceptible to the growth of mold. However, being a dark, enclosed space with a ton of moisture is the biggest reason.

What do I do if the accumulation of mold is too much?

You may need to replace some air conditioner unit components if there is too much mold growth. Sometimes you might even need to replace the entire unit.

Can I use soapy water to clean my AC?

Yes, and it can be an incredibly effective cleaner. Make sure you read the instructional manual with your AC for more information on acceptable cleaners.
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