6 Simple Steps for keeping the Air Con Filter Clean

Keeping the air con filter clean is essential for ensuring you and the family breathe fresh and healthy air at all times. However, that unsightly dust that builds on surfaces is problematic for several reasons, and none are more critical than respiratory issues, including asthma and pneumonitis. These health conditions can arise from breathing air through dusty filters.

Air Con Filter Clean
Person using air conditioner remote control

Without regular cleaning, the filters clog and spread contaminants through the home. The most common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and dizziness, all because you procrastinated cleaning the filters.

Blocked air filters also reduce the performance of your air conditioning system, forcing you to run the unit at higher settings to achieve the desired results, which could cause damage to the unit. Regular cleaning allows you to inspect and check over the unit to identify any issues or problems, allowing you to get AC repair in Banning, CA, or repair wherever you may be located, promptly before any major damage occurs. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have the air filters cleaned at regular intervals and many reasons why you should. 

So let’s run through this straightforward job with six simple steps, which the team at Upside Down have advised is a safe task you can easily do by yourself.

What You Will Need

HVAC technicians recommend cleaning each air conditioning filter at three-month intervals. But you can always do this task more frequently if concerned about air quality.

You will need some basic cleaning products to get the cleaning done quickly and efficiently. Here’s what you will need:

  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Detergent
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Warm water
  • Step ladder
  • Drop sheet

You can also purchase an air conditioner cleaning kit, but these are optional. We’ll cover the kits in more detail later on.

How to Clean Air Conditioner Filters

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This guide is suitable for wall mounted split systems, window air conditioners and ducted systems. The way you access and remove the air filters will differ depending on the particular model in use. So, refer to the instruction manual if required and speak with an experienced HVAC technician if required.

Shut off power at the wall before attempting to clean the air conditioner.

Step 1: Remove the Filters

Once the power is off, it’s time to remove the filters.

Split systems and the classic window air conditioners have filters at the front of the unit that can be accessed by lifting the front panel from the bottom. Once raised, the filters are resting in place to be carefully lifted out.

Ducted air conditioning filters are found at the intake vent, which looks like a manhole into your ceiling or wall cavity.

Open the cover panel by sliding it out or opening the latch. Be sure to wear safety glasses and a face mask if working overhead. You may also want to place the drop sheet below to catch falling dust or rely on a vacuum cleaner later on.

Step 2: Perform a Vacuum Clean

The easiest way to remove the layers of dust from air conditioner filters is with a vacuum cleaner. Brushes are coarse and may damage the delicate filters, and this will only stir up a great deal of dust. Rely on a vacuum when possible.

Gently move the vacuum nozzle across the filters removing all the dust.

Step 3: Wash in Warm, Soapy Water

Fill a sink or suitable tub with warm, soapy water and use a cleaning cloth to remove all leftover dust, dirt and grime. Avoid coarse scouring pads as they may damage the filters.

Leave the clean air filters in a suitable location to dry.

Step 4: Perform an Air Conditioner Clean

With the drop sheet in place, vacuum around the air conditioner or intake vent, removing any loose dust or build up from the edges. Wipe the surrounds with a damp cloth and cleaning product if required.

Step 5: Reinstall the Filters

Once the filters are dry, reverse the removal steps and close the front panel. Don’t forget to turn on the system at the wall.

Step 6: Examine the Outdoors Unit

And that’s all it takes to get an air-con filter clean. Once the indoor unit is good to go, consider cleaning around the outdoors unit with a split system air conditioner or ducted system.

You won’t need to be quite so thorough. Just sweep or blow the leaves to improve airflow to the internal coils. Wipe down any dirt build up as it can house moisture, and rust over time if left untreated.

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What is an Air Conditioner Cleaning Kit?

The one neat inclusion is the drop sheet that’s specially designed to hang off the unit and catch debris as it falls to the floor. But a drop sheet or tarp on the floor will do the same job for a fraction of the cost.

The air conditioner cleaning kit is exactly what it sounds like: a kit that includes most of what you need to clean the filters and the surroundings. Ultimately, these are luxury items that can cost up to $100 or more each despite consisting of items that cost a few dollars at the supermarket or hardware store.

It’s essential to clean the air conditioner regularly regardless of whether you’re using an air conditioner cleaning kit or basic products from around the home. Clean the air filters every three months to ensure all occupants have clean and healthy air.

This will also reduce power consumption for better energy efficiency and help ensure a long life for your air conditioner.

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