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General Aircon Cleaning Service vs Chemical Wash Service

General Aircon Cleaning Service vs Chemical Wash Service

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

7 common questions relating to general aircon service

7 common questions relating to general aircon service

Question 1:

What is normally done in a general aircon cleaning service of a fan coil?

Performing a thorough general aircon cleaning requires cleaning of the fan coil cover or panel, air filter, evaporator coil, drainage tray, condensation tray, blower fan and blower wheels. Normally, the vendor will also help to lubricate motor parts and tighten electrical contact if required. To finish up the job, the air con technician will also check serviceability of moving parts, the electrical components and the refrigerant level and test blower air flow level. Usually, an experience air con technician will be able to check the adequacy of the refrigerant level just by using their hand to feel the airflow. The final step is to test and commission the fan coil. The following page provides a detail breakdown of all the preventive measures taken in a general aircon service of fan coil.

Question 2:

I seldom use my air conditioner. Do I need to perform regular aircon service?


Air conditioner that are used less often will still accumulate dust. You will still need to service it although you may not need to service it as often compared to one that is used regularly.


Question 3:

I perform general aircon service on my air conditioner regularly.  Does it mean I don’t need to do any chemical wash?

Most of us sweep or vacuum our house frequently but will perform a thorough spring cleaning annually. A preventive maintenance for the air con is very similar. We need to perform general service for the air con regularly and perform a spring cleaning for the air con at least once a year through a chemical cleaning.
In a general aircon service, cleaning of key components such as the evaporator coil and air blower is done onsite where the fan coil is mounted . Cleaning are generally performed on those surfaces where your brush or vacuum can reach. However, the brush and vacuum are unable to reach out to certain deep areas and inner parts of the fan coil or condenser, for example the deeper fins of the evaporator coil.
Overtime, more and more dust and grime will accumulate on those areas where the brush and vacuum is unable to reach and the air con will be polluted with debris. These unwanted contaminants will affect air transfer within the air con system and contribute to many different types of common air con problems such as water leaking, air con not cold, air con smelly etc. If you read through our article on air con repair in http://citicoolaircon.com/aircon-repair, you will notice that chemical cleaning is the solution to many common air con problems.
To reach out to those areas not included in a general aircon service , you will need to remove the entire fan coil from the wall and dismantle all the parts piece by piece for thorough cleaning with chemical solution. Chemical solution can easily penetrates and reach out to deeper areas and help remove stubborn dust and grime easily within minutes or seconds. After treating each washable parts with chemical, you will also need to spray running water on the parts to rinse away all the chemical and debris. This process of performing chemical wash on your air con is very tedious and is definitely much more costly compared to a general aircon service. However, it is a required preventive maintenance for your air con to operate efficiently.
As chemical wash is a very important preventive maintenance for your air con system, our web site has provided many useful educational video and articles to help customers gain a better understanding on the importance and best practice procedure relating to chemical wash service. Please click on the following link for more information relating to chemical wash.


Question 4:

How often should I perform a general aircon service for my fan coil?


The answer to this questions depends on many factors including but not limited to:

• sensitivity of the air con users
• number of users
• how frequent do you use the air con
• the environment where the air con is installed etc

It is recommended that homeowners perform a normal or general service for their air conditioners at least every 3 to 4 months as a preventive maintenance for their air conditioners to keep the air conditioners efficient and effective in delivering clean and cool air.

For the commercial users, the frequency of servicing really varies and very much depends on the environment and the extent of usage. Take for example, most restaurants would need to service their aircon monthly to prevent it from breaking down due to dust and grime clogging the indoor fan coil, especially if the aircon is in the kitchen. Clinics and hospital will normally service their fan coil monthly as they need to maintain clean air quality for their patients. Basically, those air conditioners that are serviced more regularly tend to be more efficient in producing clean and cool air and consume lesser energy and have a longer life span.


Question 5:

Is it ok to use some chemical solution to clean the fan coil during a general aircon service?


If you are cleaning the fan coil yourself and wants to use chemical solution on the parts. You should do the chemical cleaning of the dismantled parts offsite. Instead of using chemical solution, you can use normal detergents or just water to rinse the parts which is what the vendors will do in an a general aircon service.
You should avoid applying chemical solution on the fan coil onsite because it is difficult to remove the chemical thoroughly unless you remove and dismantle the whole fan coil for rinsing with water. Note that most chemical solution are either acidic or akaline based and chemical residue left on your fan coil can damage or even corrode the metals of the key components of your fan coil.

Question 6

What is the difference between general aircon service and chemical cleaning service?


In general aircon servicing, only certain parts are dismantled for cleaning and rinsing with water. However in chemical wash service, all the parts in the fan coil should be dismantled for chemical cleaning. More details on this topic can be found on the following page:
General Aircon Servicing vs Chemical Wash Servicing

Question 7:

What are some price considerations and precaution to take when sourcing for a vendor to perform general aircon service?


Do some manual calculation on what is a reasonable price to pay for a general service. Vendors’ key costing include vehicle, petrol or diesel and labour cost. One should beware of pricing that are unreasonably too low. All vendors are out there to make a profit. If the pricing is way below a reasonable market price, beware of such vendors. Check whether they cover all the important steps mentioned in Question 1. Vendors may eliminate some of the steps in order to charge a lower price to attract customers. Others may start recommending additional unnecessary services during their visit.
If you are not sure whether the vendor’s recommendation is genuine, you should pick up the phone and call a few other vendors to get a second opinion. Otherwise do some research and read up more to understand how air conditioner works. If your air conditioner has some problems, we highly recommend that you browse throw the following pages to check for possible causes and solutions and to clear any doubts that you may have. The following post are some highly recommended articles for your reading:
tips on aircon problems and solution

Aircon Service Technician dismantling aircon parts for cleaning

Aircon Service Specialist/Technician dismantling aircon parts for cleaning

regular aircon service is important for your air conditioner

Regular aircon service is important for the efficiency of your air conditioner



Best Practice For Aircon Chemical Wash Service And Its Advantages

Best Practice For Aircon Chemical Wash Service And Its Advantages

aircon chemical wash or aircon chemical overhaul is effective for washing away stubborn dirts and grimes in your fancoil.





CitiCool strongly advocate adopting the best practice of removing the fan coil unit from the wall where it is mounted and dismantling all the components in the fan coil piece by piece for a thorough chemical treatment and rinsing.  Despite the time and effort required in doing so, it is important to follow such best practice procedures as this is the proper and correct way of cleaning the fan coil to ensure that it can operate efficiently after the chemical wash. (more…)

Different Types Of Chemical Wash Services

When Does Your Air Conditioner Require Aircon Chemical Wash Service?

Basically, when general cleaning of the air conditioner is unable to keep your air conditioner running properly, cleaning your air conditioner with chemical solution is required. Your air con need a aircon chemical wash service because the internal components of your fan coil, especially the evaporator coil is blocked by a layer of dirt, dust and grime. This layer of blockage on your evaporator coil can cause the air con to malfunction. It also has many negative effects on the entire air con system. (more…)