Keep your space cool and clean with regular maintenance on your system’s filtration.
Once installed, air conditioners typically require very little maintenance, especially when installed by top professionals in Sydney. Although your own AC system unlocks a range of advantages, the one thing that you simply can’t ignore for long periods of time is the air conditioning filter.
Consider that an air conditioner’s job is to pull in air from the outside, condition it to make it nice and cool, and then blow it into the room to keep things chilled as indicated. Without an air con filter, dust or allergens that inevitably make their way into the system could also make their way into your home. The solution is a filter that catches anything that may have made it through before it goes into your living space.
Over time, this filter can become full, dirty, or even clogged, degrading the performance of both the filter’s ability to actually filter as well as your air con’s ability to cool.
But how hard is it to change or clean a filter?
The good news is that it’s not too difficult no matter what kind of system you have. The difference is that different system types or units may be configured differently, so it’s important to check with your installer or the care instructions that came with your unit for exact directions. That said, we’re happy to detail what to look for regarding the two most popular system types.
How to clean an air conditioning filter: split system air con
Great news – You’ll be able to do everything you need from right inside the room with your split AC unit. Locate your air con and let’s get started.
Note that the steps are the same if you have a multi-split system; you’ll just have more than one unit to check on. The same is very true for most portable units.
Step #1. Open the cover
First, turn the air con off. Then, somewhere, likely on the front of your unit, should be a plastic or metal cover that you can pop open. This should expose the front panel of your air con.
Step #2. Identify the filters
That’s right – filters. There could be more than one depending on the make and model of your unit. The key is to look at how they appear while they are still installed so you can put them back in place easily when the time comes. They’re usually a plastic or mesh insert that is placed over the louvres of the air con where the cool air blows through.
Step #3. Wash the air conditioning filters
Take a look at how dirty your filters are. If they are hard to see through, they’re due for a robust cleaning. You can take them to the sink and wash them by hand with dish detergent and warm water. Make sure to rinse until there is no more soap left on the filter. Then let the filter air dry completely.
Step #4. Vacuum the filters
Another tactic you can take is to get out a vacuum with a hand attachment and suction the dust and dirt out of the filter. This is a good idea if the build up is light. You can also do this as a step before washing and do both to ensure your filter is sparkling clean.
Step #5. Wipe the unit
Before you put your newly cleaned filters back into the air con, this is a great time to wipe down the unit with a dust rag or slightly damp cloth. Make sure to clean the louvres if you can access them to keep any excess dirt from immediately ending up in the filters once you turn things back on.
Step #6. Reassemble and cool
Speaking of turning the unit back on, you’ll want to reinsert your 100% dry filter(s) into the unit to their original position. Then, you can restore the front cover of the unit. With everything in place, you can turn the unit back on and get back to keeping things cool.
How to clean an air conditioning filter: ducted air conditioner
Of course, not everyone has a split system air con. If you have a ducted system, you’ll also want to keep up with changing and cleaning out your air filters since it services the entire home.
Step #1. Locate the air conditioning filters
With your air conditioner turned off, you’ll want to locate your filters. Your installer should have gone over where these are located for you after they set up and introduced you to your system. However, filters are usually in one of two main places: return grills and the air handler. Return grills are often found in the walls or ceilings in various rooms. The air handler is going to be on the main indoor unit located in your home.
Step #2. Remove the filter
In either location, you’re likely going to need a screwdriver to get to the filter itself. For grills on the ceiling, be careful to keep one hand on the grate itself so that nothing falls fast when you loosen the screws.
Step #3. Wash or replace the filters
This is going to depend on the kind of air con system you have, so be sure to check the instructions or ask your air conditioner installer. In some instances, the filters can be vacuumed to remove dust, lint, and dirt that has accumulated. Other filters are designed to be replaced and disposed of on a regular basis (typically every 3-6 months).
Step #4. Reinsert the filter
Once you have a new or newly cleaned filter, you can insert it back into the same place and screw the door or grate back into position.
Why bother cleaning an air conditioning filter in the first place
To start with, the filters are designed to trap dust, dirt, and lint that would otherwise make its way into your living space. Keep working with a dirty filter, and you might notice a reduction in air quality and an increase in allergies.
More than just the dirt itself, a clogged or full air filter can make it harder for your air conditioner to push cooled air through the filter itself and into your room. That means that the system will have to work harder, which means a higher energy bill for you in the long term.
Dirt and debris are not just bad for you to breathe. They can also be bad for the air conditioner. Built up dust can actually damage parts of the air con, such as the fan coil, impacting the unit’s performance and even causing breakages that require air conditioner repair.
Have questions about your air conditioning filter? Ask HunterCON!
While all air conditioners have filters, they take all shapes, sizes, and locations depending on the make, model, and type of system you have installed. That can make it tricky for homeowners to find the air conditioning filters and do the cleaning themselves.
Instead of struggling for a solution, or putting one off altogether, call the pros at HunterCON. We have been installing and servicing air conditioners of every variety in Sydney for over 10 years and there isn’t a unit we can’t help with. Whether you just have questions or want us to come out for a routine service and maintenance call, our expertly trained air con specialists are ready to help.