How to clean an air conditioning filter

Generally speaking, there are two types of air conditioning filters, Disposable & Washable. Air conditioner filters are located at the ‘return air’ or for a better word the ‘air-intake’ to the air conditioning system. For a ducted system, this is the grille in the ceiling, often in the hallway. Highwall air conditioners will require the front fascia cover to be lifted.

Disposable air conditioner filters are mostly a pleated design and are of cardboard construction. The pleated design gives the filter a greater surface area meaning it can be in place much longer than a washable filter. Circumstances will vary depending on how often you run your air conditioning system, how clean the environment is and so on, but generally a disposable filter is replaced every 6-12 months making it ideal to work in with an annual air conditioning maintenance schedule.

Washable filters are the most common type of air conditioning filter commonly found in ducted air conditioner and highwall split systems. Washable air conditioner filters are removed every 1-6 months and washed under a tap or hose. Constructed from a much more robust material than disposable air conditioning filters, washable filters can last years before requiring replacement. You may opt to have the filter replaced every 1-2 years as part of your regular maintenance to assist with system performance & air quality.

Blocked or dirty filters, or no filter at all can not only lead to costly air conditioning repairs but may also cause catastrophic failure. That little piece of material that is out of sight and out of mind may just save you big dollars in energy costs & repairs!