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How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

Cleaning your air conditioner filter is a very important task that should be done regularly. Especially when frequently using your machine like during the summer months.

Not only will it help your air conditioner run more efficiently, but it will also keep the air in your home cleaner and free of allergens.

With these points in mind, here's a simple guide on how to clean your air conditioner filter.

Step 1: Expose & Remove the Filter

The first step is to locate the filter. For most wall-mounted split systems, the filter will be located behind a grille on the front of the wall air conditioning unit.

Air conditioning units might have a different way to access the filter through the front panel so it's always best to check your manual before you try opening the panel.

Once you have exposed the AC filter, remove it from the unit.

Man has opened air conditioner to expose the aircon filters.

Step 2: Inspect the Filter

With the filter removed, take a close look at it. If the air-con filter looks very dirty or clogged, it will need to be replaced. However, if the filter only looks mildly dirty, you should be able to clean it and reuse it.

Most aircon manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your AC filter every 90 days. But this depends on the conditions of your home and how frequently it is being used.

Generally, air filters from units in dusty areas need to be replaced more frequently than those that are in cleaner environments.

See Step 3 for how to clean the filter, or jump to Step 5 if you are replacing it.

Step 3: Clean the Filter

If you have decided that the filter can be reused, it's time to start cleaning it.

Luckily, cleaning an air conditioning filter is pretty straightforward. All you'll need is a water source, a brush, and some soap.

  • First, try to remove loose dust by brushing the filter dry outdoors. This will remove any excess.
  • Next, brush the filter with soap and water to remove stubborn clogged dirt.
  • Lastly, rinse it with some warm water.

If your filter still looks clogged after a thorough cleaning, or if it has been damaged from excessive brushing, it is to replace the filter.

Man is washing a dirty AC filter with water

Step 4: Dry The Filter

Next, you must allow the filter to dry completely before putting back in the AC machine.

Putting back a wet filter can encourage the growth of mould and mildew, which can cause serious respiratory problems.

To dry your filter, simply leave it out in the sun for a few hours or use a hairdryer on the low setting.

Step 5: Put It Back Together

Once your filter is dry, you can put it back into your air conditioner unit.

Alternatively, if you are replacing the filter, make sure to insert it correctly.

Be sure to check your owner's manual to see if there are any specific instructions on how to do this.

After the filter is back in place, turn on your air conditioner unit and enjoy clean and pleasant air.

Woman is carefully inserting a clean filter back into the AC unit.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your air conditioner filter is a quick and easy task that should be done regularly to keep your air conditioner unit running efficiently.

It will also help to improve the quality of the air in your home by removing allergens and other airborne particles.

So next time you're getting ready to cool off during the summer, be sure to take a few minutes to clean your air conditioner filter.

Alternatively, you can use a professional service like Impact to have your air conditioning unit serviced. It is recommended to have a professional service every 12 months to ensure the filter and other parts are working correctly.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your air conditioner unit will help to extend its lifespan and keep your home cool and comfortable all year long.

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