Cleaning my air-con

We have nine  Panasonic air conditioners, and occasionally have them cleaned – which costs RM60 each.  But we always feel uneasy with tradesmen in the house.  At one stage we had three different groups of tradesmen in the house, and couldn’t keep an eye on all of them, and some things were stolen.  So now we minimise the number of times we call anyone, and keep a close watch on what they are doing.

One of our aircons desperately needed cleaning, and when they came we watched closely.  But I also noticed that they weren’t doing anything too complicated.  They dissembled part of the aircon, took those parts outside and  washed using water and rags.

Thus I thought that I could also do that, and not have to feel paranoid about workmen being in the house. So I did. And this is what I did. I am writing this so in a year’s time I can refresh my memory.


Panasonic aircon cleaning


Step 1 Assemble tools and material

Small plastic tray for draining water

Cloth to protect surface below from dirt and dust

Computer size Phillips screwdriver

Normal size Phillips screwdriver

Medium size and large size ordinary screwdrivers

Torch if in dim area

Ladder probably

Dropsheet possibly if you want it to catch any fallen screws, and otherwise they’d disappear; and others to cover any fabric or furniture.



Step 2 Dissemble aircon

Cover any furniture you’d like to keep clean.

Turn off aircon with remote control and then turn off aircon wall switch.


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This is the aircon unit.

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Open small flap under which louvers are located.

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On the extreme left and right are plastic screw covers – lever out with screw driver.

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Here the covers are loosened.

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Then remove screw on left and right sides.

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Here are the two screws and two covers removed, along with some of the tools.Kep these four parts together, as another screw is similar but shorter, so as not to confuse them.

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Now remove the whole outer cover in one go. Cover in foreground and the remaining part of the unit in the background.

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On the right side is a small silver cylinder – this connects electricity. Later you need to detach, but be gentle and careful when handling the whole unit because of this.

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On the left side near the top is a small plastic flap sticking out further than other parts – bend a little to the left and you can loosen the next assembly to be removed.

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Don’t worry if it hardly moves – the water pipe has to be detached. You’ll find this near the bottom on the left. Put a tray underneath to catch water. Use a screwdriver to loosen the pipe connection until you can detach from the tray and assembly.Here it is just removed and resting on the pipe it is normally set into.

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Once water pipe is detached you can pull down the bottom part of the unit a bit.  Not too much as you have to detach the electricity on the right.

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Now back to the little cylinder on the right.  You may need a torch to see behind it – there you will find a tiny Phillips screw – remove with the computer screwdriver.  (RM5 for a set at Daiso etc.)  Move the long flap at front of aircon to a position where you can slide this cylinder out, or partly out

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Then bend that flap mentioned earlier and you can pull down the assembly a bit more. Here you can see the plastic tray on the bottom left, with the dirty water collected.

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Now ensure you have completely removed the cylinder on right from its position.

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Now you can remove the front / bottom assembly.

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Next remove the black rubber grommet that holds in the long black cylinder.

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Also remove the screw a little below the grommet.

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Both are now removed.  This screw is about the same size, but shorter, than the earlier screws from the casing – so don’t mix up.

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Next you pull out the upper assembly a little…

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and pull the black cylinder inside down a little.

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Turn this cylinder around until you can see a recess on the right side of it, which contains a screw – a tiny silver screw to the right of centre in this photo.

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This screw is tight, so now is time for the large screwdriver, as you need the leverage. Remove this screw and you can pull out the black cylinder. Here the black cylinder is so dirty it is brown.  But you can see the screw better in this photo.

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Now you have removed all the necessary parts. Clean the remaining parts of the aircon and the parts you have removed, as necessary.  Here are the parts you removed, cleaned.

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Step  – Assemble aircon

The opposite of dissembly. Open a bit on LHS and put black cylinder in with spindle on left. Attach on right hand side to spindle on the main unit.

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Close up unit a bit, ensuring cylinder in proper position on both sides.  Do not secure it too far to the right or it will chafe. 

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Screw in on RHS to secure – use Phillips as it holds the screw better at an angle – and I didn’t do as tightly as it was.  (On opening I used a large standard screwdriver for leverage, but Phillips for tightening.) Spin it a few times quickly to ensure it is not rubbing against anything.

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Secure left hand side & attach screw to hold it. Ensure it is the smaller screw.

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Put in rubber grommet on end of spindle. It appears I missed a few bits of dirt, but not on important surfaces.

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Now comes the hardest part of the operation.  Here is the bottom assembly. Manoeuvre it more or less into place – start underneath and line up.  This can take quite a while to get right, but be gentle so as not to damage anything.  (On the right is a roughly 1cm wide “post” that slips in a small hole inside and which thus presumably ensures everything is correctly aligned.  It’s too dark and small to photograph.  But that is likely what is making it difficult to get in the correct position. Be aware of where this has to sit to make it easier to get right.)

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When screw holes sort of line up etc. pull back a little and attach water pipe on left. If the water pipe is making it difficult, attach lightly first, and then manoeuvre.

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Screw holes lined up.

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Then put more or less back in proper place and attach electricity on right – move flap up or down so holes line up for electric part, and you can put screw in.

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Then manoeuvre bottom assembly back into proper place, so final remaining screw holes line up. Don’t attach screws yet. You could test unit now to ensure it works. But only briefly as not screwed in.

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Put casing back on, aligning screw holes, and then screw in. Then put in screw covers.


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And now it is back together. And it is working so much better – the air is colder.20140910_aircon-cleaning (37) (Copy)


So far I have done two aircons.  I’ll do about two a week until all the ones that I need to clean are done.  What surprises me is how these machines are not designed to be easy to clean, and easy to dissemble.



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