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General Aircon Cleaning Service vs Chemical Wash Service

Confused between different types of aircon cleaning service?  Singapore’s aircon cleaning service companies may offers many different types of cleaning services.  However, if a company adopt effective best practice procedures with no hidden charges, there’s only 2 basic types of cleaning.  These two types of cleaning are general aircon cleaning service and chemical wash service.  (Note that some may call chemical wash service as chemical overhaul. Both should actually be referring to the same type of service.  However, some vendor cut short some procedures and differentiate between chemical wash and chemical overhaul.)

Many users of air conditioners could not tell the difference between a general aircon service versus a chemical cleaning.  As a result, some air conditioners requires a chemical wash service but the users wanted to pay a lower pricing and opt for general aircon cleaning service.  Choosing a wrong service may not be an effective maintenance for the air con. On the other hand, some users wanted to perform a chemical wash although their air conditioners is still clean and a general cleaning is sufficient and good enough. This article illustrate some basic differences between a general aircon cleaning service and chemical wash service.  The purpose of this article is to help air con users better differentiate and determine when to apply each of these preventive maintenance on their air conditioner.

The differences between general aircon cleaning service and chemical wash service include but are not limited to the following:


General Aircon Cleaning Service

Chemical Wash Aircon Cleaning Service

(also known as Chemical Overhaul)

  • Required either every one to three months depending on the extent of usage and the environment.
  • Most residential users perform this every 3 to 4 months.
  • Most commercial user will perform this monthly or once every 2 months. This is because commercial aircon are subject to higher usage compared to residential air con.
  • Required either half yearly or yearly depending on the extent of usage and the environment.
  • Most residential users perform this every once to twice a year.
  • Commercial users from different industries has different requirements in performing chemical wash. For example, hospitals, clinics and restaurants will perform chemical wash more regularly compared to office units.
  • Requires lesser technical knowledge than chemical wash.
  • No need to pump down and pump up refrigerant (air coolant).
  • No need to know how to dismantled and reassemble the entire fan coil.
  • Requires more technical knowledge than aircon servicing.
  • Need to pump down and pump up refrigerant (air coolant).
  • Need to know how to remove the fan coil from the wall or ceiling and dismantling and reassembling the whole unit.  Therefore require knowledge and experience on aircon installation.
  • Easy to perform and takes 2 aircon technicians 20 to 30 minutes.
  • More difficult than aircon servicing. Takes 2 aircon technicians 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Not the entire fan coil is not removed from the wall.
  • Normally, only parts such as fan coil cover, air filter, air blower, drainage tray etc are removed for cleaning offsite.
  • Entire fan coil should be removed for dismantling and cleaning offsite.
  • This is the best practice procedure to perform a proper full scope and thorough chemical cleaning.
  • Some fancoil components are cleaned onsite and some offsite.
  • Use brush, cleaning cloth and vacuum to clean onsite parts that are not detached.
  • Use brush and water to clean detached parts offsite.
  • In a proper chemical wash, entire fan coil components should be removed for cleaned offsite.
  • Use brush, chemical solution and water for cleaning.
  • Onsite: Include cleaning evaporating coil, its surrounding areas and drainage pipe.
  • Offsite: Include cleaning air blower, drainage tray, fan coil cover and air filter.
  • Onsite:  No parts left onsite as the entire fan coil is remove for offsite cleaning.
  • Offsite : Include cleaning off all the washable parts in the fan coil.
  • Normally only water is used for offsite cleaning.
  • Water is more neutral compared to acid or akaline solution.
  • Use either acidic or akaline based cleaners for offsite cleaning.
  • Normally chemical reaction between the cleaner and the metal surface of the evaporator coil can cause metal loss unless the chemicals are thoroughly rinse off in a timely manner to prevent coil damage.
  • Note that some aircon vendors may use short cut cleaning in their standard aircon servicing. They may not detach the air blower and drainage tray for offsite cleaning.
  • The air blower is a hidden part.  Onsite aircon cleaning service on the blower would not be effective at all.  You need to detached it for a proper aircon cleaning service.


Aircon Blower Location

removing the aircon blower hidden behind cooling coil

aircon servicing for aircon blower

aircon blower before and after aircon servicing


  • Note that some aircon vendors may perform chemical cleaning onsite.  This is not a proper way to perform chemical cleaning.
  • Improper cleaning practices may damage the fan coil.  In fact, it is very difficult or impossible  to rinse away all the chemicals onsite.
  • Refer to evaporator coil and aircon blower below.  Dust and debris can be deeply hidden within these two key components.  You can’t possibly do a proper chemical aircon cleaning service onsite.
aircon chemical wash - components dimantled for chemical wash

components dismantled for aircon chemical wash

  • Note: Click on the picture for a bigger image.
  • Cleans only certain reachable parts and areas of the fan coil
  • Cleans all the parts in the fan coil
  • Much cheaper compared to chemical wash service
  • Easily around 5 to 6 times more expensive than general aircon cleaning service.
  • Not effective in resolving many aircon problems caused by extremely dirty fan coil (i.e. fan coil that is clogged with dirt, dust and grime).
  • Can resolve many aircon problems . Examples include aircon not cold, foul smell from aircon, aircon noisy, water leaking, ice forming on evaporator coil or condenser etc.  This is provided there isn’t any faulty part in your air conditioning unit.

Video showing Proper General Aircon Cleaning Service


Video showing Proper Chemical Cleaning Service

Important Points to take note in Aircon Cleaning Service 

Do note that a good preventive maintenance for air conditioners require both general aircon cleaning service and chemical wash service. Note that although chemical cleaning can make the air conditioners very clean, however, it is more costly and time consuming. Too much chemical cleaning can also be damaging for the air conditioners because most effective chemical solution can result in some metal loss. Therefore, it is recommended to combine both types of preventive maintenance in an effective preventive maintenance for your air conditioning system.
(Note that chemical solution which do not cause loss of metal are available, however such solution are normally less effective, require more quantity to work and very much more costly. Therefore, most vendor seldom recommend the use of such solution.)

CiTiCool’s Aircon Cleaning Service 

Whether it is general aircon cleaning service or chemical wash service, CiTiCool uses best practice procedures only.  Most importantly,  we perform our job based on customers’ expectation of what is as an effective cleaning.  Unlike some companies, we do not offer a list of different types of general aircon cleaning service or chemical cleaning service.  We only have one type of general aircon cleaning service and one type of chemical wash service.  In addition, if your aircon is still clean, we will never recommend chemical cleaning to you.  On the other hand, if you aircon needs chemical treatment, we will advise you accordingly.

Find out more about CiTiCool and its Aircon Cleaning Service by clicking on the links below.

About CiTiCool Aircon Servicing Specialist

Aircon Servicing Singapore Workshop

CiTiCool’s General Aircon Cleaning Service

general aircon service technician dismantling aircon parts for cleaning

 CiTiCool’s Chemical Cleaning Service

aircon chemical wash or aircon chemical overhaul

Contact CiTiCool

 If you have any query on the above content, feel free to contact us. 

To call our office, tap on 6876 0581

To whatsapp us, tap on 9272 6997