Air Conditioner Filters: A guide to cleaning & replacing

By January 4, 2021Air Conditioning

Maintaining your air conditioning unit is crucial for ensuring its wellbeing and extending its lifespan. Being proactive with maintenance involves keeping a close eye on your system and contacting an air conditioning repair specialist if you notice anything isn’t quite right.

We’ll cover the importance of cleaning and replacing filters and what filter is best for your needs.
air conditioning filters

Keeping your air conditioner filters clean and replacing them when they are damaged is essential for keeping your unit in top condition.

Cleaning and replacing your air filters is an important part of the general maintenance process. This will help ensure your unit is running at optimum performance levels, increasing efficiency and reliability. These measures will ultimately lead to a reduction in repair costs and an increase in your system’s life expectancy; no complaints there.

Why Are Air Conditioner Filters So Important? 

Filters are an important component of your AC system. They are usually made of fine material like pleated paper or cloth stretched across a sturdy frame.

Their function is to filter the air that passes in and out of your HVAC system. They collect small particles of contaminants that may affect the health and wellbeing of you, your family or your employees, including dust, dirt, pollen, mould, lint and other fibres, bacteria, hair or animal fur, and particles of wood, metal or plastics.

Why Is Cleaning and Replacing Filters So Important?

So why is the cleaning and replacing AC filters so important? Well, there are several reasons. First of all, clogged filters are among the most common causes of major malfunctions in an AC system. A dirty filter will also allow less air to pass through, causing fans to work harder, increasing energy consumption, and slowly damaging your system. Clogged filters can also lead to a buildup of contaminants in your ducts (if you have a ducted system).

How Often Does Your Filter Need Cleaning and Replacing?

Depending on your AC system’s environment, your air filters will need to be inspected every other month and cleaned if you notice they have become quite dirty. It will be quite easy to assess if your filter is too dirty. If your filter looks excessively dirty or damaged in some way, it may need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for any holes, wrinkles or tears – these are telltale signs that your filter needs replacing.

How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner Filters?

Cleaning dirty air conditioning filters isn’t too complicated. The main trick is to be gentle, to avoid damaging or putting a hole in your filter. If this happens, a replacement will be necessary. To clean, wash the filters with warm water, then let them dry before inserting them back into the AC. If the filters are especially filthy, some mild soap detergent will help eliminate potential odours.

Finding the Right Replacement

If your AC filters need replacing, what filter should you go for?

Different filters have different efficiency ratings called MERV ratings – this stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In general, the cheaper the filter, the lower the MERV rating. These range from 1-16.

• Filters with a MERV rating of 1-4 are the lowest quality. They provide basic filtration and are the cheapest option. They may be suitable for low-intensity environments.

• Filters with a MERV rating of 5-8 are the next step up, providing good filtration levels at a relatively low cost. They are suitable for smaller systems, such as those in homes.

• Filters with a MERV rating of 9-13 are of higher quality and are more expensive. They can capture tiny particles.

• Filters with a MERV rating of 14-16 are the best you can buy. They can capture minuscule particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Contact Us Today

If you are curious about the most suitable filter for you, get in touch with your AC installer or specialist. They will be able to advise you on the best option.

If you are having issues with your AC system or would like to know more about replacing filters, get in touch with HunterCON today. We pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality. We are based in the Inner West. However, our operations span the greater metro area, including the Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore and South West. We always respond quickly and aim to be on-site as soon as possible.

Check out some more AC tips below:

Ways you can maintain your air conditioning system

Understanding the Energy Star Rating when buying an air conditioner

Discover what type of air conditioner is best for your home

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