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How Long Should You Let an Air Conditioner Dry After Cleaning?


Whether it’s a split-type, window-type, or a portable aircon, a lot of people are wondering how long should you let an air conditioner dry after cleaning?

Cleaning an AC unit takes a bit of time depending on the type of aircon and the method of maintaining it in good condition. Most air conditioners, like the window-type, are built to withstand getting wet. The outdoor unit for split system ACs can also run despite getting sprayed on by water. In fact, spraying water on the outside unit can increase the compressor’s efficiency.

However, cleaning the internal parts of an AC unit with water would these components to be dried first before installing it all back. Here’s a guide on how long you should let an air conditioner dry after cleaning.

How Long Should I Let the Aircon Dry after Cleaning?

Generally, air conditioners can be turned on immediately after getting sprayed with water. However, in cases such as cleaning the condenser coils and air filters with water, drying these components is needed to avoid further damage.

Condenser coils typically require at least 30-60 minutes of drying. A longer period may be required if those were soaked in a soap solution for quite some time. Likewise, air filters need to be air-dried for at least three (3) hours or more, depending on how long these cartridges were soaked. Never dry it directly under intense sunlight, as this can damage the filters due to overdrying.

To ensure that these components are properly dried, check it every hour to see if there are still signs of excess water.

Why Should I Let the Aircon Dry After Cleaning?

Condenser coils contain a refrigerant liquid, hence removing the excess water after cleaning is needed to prevent it from mixing with the cooling agent. On the other hand, air filters are sometimes replaced but are mostly manually cleaned. The reason is that excessive dirt and dust particles accumulate in these cartridges, hence regular maintenance is required.

On the other hand, to rinse the indoor unit for split system ACs, using a spray bottle is a good way of avoiding a puddle of water beneath your window or wall. Letting it dry for a few hours can prevent malfunction in its internal wiring and electrical system.

How Can I Let the Aircon Dry After Cleaning?

How Long Should You Let an Air Conditioner Dry After Cleaning

While cleaning the air conditioner is tedious, drying it afterward is more time-consuming. It would take several hours for the AC components to dry, especially if you use natural drying methods. Hence, here are some tips on how to effectively dry your aircon after thoroughly cleaning it.

Air Drying

Air drying the air filter is the best choice to avoid any further damage to the system. Lean the cartridge against a wall on top of the newspaper and let the excess water dry all by itself. Make sure that it’s not directly hit by sunlight since the filters may dry up too much. Remember that this is a slow process, thus, you must ensure that the place where you air-dried the filters is safe from dust particles and debris.


Air conditioner parts such as the casing and louvers can be placed under direct sunlight since these can withstand the heat. Sunbathing of these components should be done for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the intensity of the sun. Another alternative is using a hair dryer to speed up the process.

Using a Hair Dryer

A hairdryer can be used to aid the process of drying the condenser coils. It’s usually made of copper and aluminum, so it won’t be affected by too much heat. Air drying or sunbathing is also recommended, but it might take a longer time for the coils to be completely dried.

Final Thoughts

Regular maintenance of your air conditioner is important because it ensures that the AC unit will keep on operating at its best performance. It will also prevent unnecessary expenses, such as parts replacement.

Hence, making sure that your AC and its parts are dried-up properly after cleaning is required to make sure it will still function well. The excess cleaning water might just be the reason you’ll need to hire an HVAC technician to clean. Thus, learning the do’s and don’ts of AC maintenance will help you in the long run.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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