How to Check Your Air Conditioning Filter

With another Brisbane summer on the way, it’s time to start thinking about having your air conditioning serviced. Regularly maintaining ducted and split system air conditioners is the best thing you can do to get more from your investment. 

Annual servicing can extend the life of your air conditioning, reduce your power bills and have a big impact on the air quality in your home. If you want to take it a step further, it’s also a good idea to check your air conditioning filter in between services. Whenever you run an air conditioner, the air passes through a filter that cleans out any dust, dirt and other contaminants. This filter becomes blocked over time, and knowing how to keep it clean is an important part of owning an air conditioner.

Signs It’s Time to Check Your Air Conditioning Filter

Air conditioning cools a room by drawing in air, passing it over pipes filled with chilled refrigerant and then blowing it back into the room. While it’s doing this, the air conditioner also filters the air to remove any dirt or dust that could clog the system. As dirt builds up on the filter, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep the room cool, which can eventually damage the system and cause components to burn out.

If you notice any of the following symptoms then it’s time to check your air conditioning filter:

  • Musty or mouldy smells. This is a dead giveaway that your filters are clogged. Clogged filters soak up excess moisture and can create musty smells that are hard to miss.
  • Strange noises. Clogged filters mean your air conditioning has to work harder to cool your home. This puts strain on the system and can wear out components, causing them to make unusual noises.
  • Uneven temperatures. Lastly, if your air conditioning is struggling to move air or doesn’t seem to be cooling very well, it could be a sign that your filter is blocked.
  • It’s been a while. Even with regular servicing, it’s worth checking your filter every few months to see whether it’s clean.

How to Clean Your Air Conditioning Filter

Your air conditioning should have been supplied with a user manual that shows you how to locate and remove the filter. If you don’t have the manual, you can usually find a copy on the manufacturer’s website.

For most makes and models though, cleaning the filter only requires a few steps:

  1. Switch off the air conditioner.
  2. Open the front cover. Check the user manual if you’re not sure how. Covers are usually screwed or clipped into place.
  3. Remove the filter.
  4. Take the filter outside and vacuum any dust from the surface.
  5. Use warm water and a gentle soap to wash the filter and remove any dirt. This can also be done with a hose - just don’t spray the filter with high pressure water.
  6. Rinse the filter thoroughly to remove any soap.
  7. This step is optional, but you can sanitise filters by soaking them in a water and vinegar mixture. Rinse the filter with clean water after soaking in vinegar.
  8. Set the filter outside to dry. Pick a spot that’s warm and has good airflow, but avoid placing the filter in direct sunlight.
  9. Once it’s dry, replace the filter, close the front panel and test the system to make sure it’s working.

Does Your Air Conditioning Filter Need to be Replaced?

Air conditioning filters that are regularly cleaned can last for years before they need replacing. Eventually though, the filter will begin to wear out, and it will need to be replaced.

The major sign that an air conditioning filter needs to be replaced is when the cloth element starts to look worn out or begins to come away from the frame. Both of these things can cause dust to leak through the filter and damage other components. Replacement filters can usually be purchased from the manufacturer, or an air conditioning installer will be able to provide one as part of your routine maintenance schedule.

Need to Check Your Air Conditioning Filter? Contact Dawson Electric Today!

Regular maintenance is the best way to get your air conditioning ready for summer! Checking and cleaning the filter will improve the quality of air in your home, extend the life of the system and can even reduce your power bills. If it’s time for your annual service, get in touch with Dawson Electric. Our residential and commercial electrical maintenance technicians are fully equipped for all air conditioning installation projects, and we offer a comprehensive range of servicing and repairs across Brisbane. We’re licensed installers, and we always work with high quality air conditioners from manufacturers we trust. Contact us today to book a service or to find out more about our air conditioning installations!

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