Our Guide to Cleaning Your Ducted Air Conditioning Filter

Our Guide to Cleaning Your Ducted Air Conditioning Filter

Beating summer highs and winter lows is always a challenge. There are plenty of ways to stay comfortable, but ducted air conditioning installation Brisbane is one of the most convenient and cost-effective options. Installing a ducted air conditioner allows you to control temperatures throughout your home. Rather than installing multiple smaller systems, ducted air conditioners can heat or cool an entire property at once!

That’s very convenient, but ducted air conditioners are a serious investment. If you want to make sure you get your money’s worth then you’ll need regular air conditioning maintenance. A regular maintenance appointment is the best way to keep the system in top condition and ensure it’s ready for any weather.

How to Clean a Ducted Air Conditioning Filter

Your air conditioning system should come with a manual that includes instructions on how to clean the air filter. If you can’t find the manual, check the manufacturer’s website – instruction manuals are often available for free download.

Regardless of the make and model, you can clean the air filter on most ducted systems using the following instructions:

  1. Turn the system off completely. Your air conditioner should never be used without an air filter.
  2. Unscrew or unclip the return air grille and hinge it down, allowing it to hang vertically.
  3. Slide the air filter out of its housing. Some air filters may be held in using clips or screws.
  4. Take the air filter outside and clean off any dust using warm water and mild soap. The filter element is likely to be fragile, so avoid scrubbing the surface. Instead, you can use a garden hose to blast away any stubborn dirt or stains.
  5. Rinse the filter with fresh water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Leave the filter in a shady spot to dry. The filter needs to dry completely before being reinstalled in the ceiling.
  7. Slide the filter back into its housing and clip the return air grille back into place.
  8. Finally, you should test the system to make sure everything is working properly.

Signs it’s Time to Clean Your Air Filter

Cleaning the air filter is a key piece of air conditioning maintenance. It should be done at regular intervals to improve energy efficiency, reduce wear on internal components and prolong the lifespan of the system.

When inspecting the air filter, keep an eye out for these common signs that the system needs cleaning:

  • Reduced air flow coming from ducts
  • Musty or mouldy smells coming from the air conditioner
  • Outdoor compressor unit making strange noises
  • Inconsistent air temperatures provided by the air conditioner

A dirty air filter can cause all sorts of problems. In the worst case, blocked filters can put additional strain on the system and cause internal components to wear out prematurely. Always keep an eye on the system, and contact a service technician if you notice any of the problems listed above.

When Does the Air Filter Need to be Replaced?

Air conditioning filters are made of a tough, thickened cloth. With regular cleaning, these filters can last for years without needing to be replaced. However, during your regular cleaning, you should inspect the filter for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to replace the filter:

  • Filter element looking shaggy
  • Holes or tears in the cloth
  • Gaps between the filter and the housing

Air filters are only effective if they don’t allow dust and dirt into the system. Your air filter needs to be replaced as soon as it shows signs of holes or gaps that could allow dust to pass through. There’s no way to tell how long this will take, but you should expect to replace the filter every few years. New filters can be sourced from the manufacturer, or an air conditioning technician will be able to supply and install one for you.

How Often Should the Air Filter Be Cleaned?

Your air conditioning filter should be cleaned every 3-6 months during normal use. The filter may need to be cleaned more often if you live in a dusty environment, or if you live in an area with high amounts of air pollution. Talk to your ducted air conditioning installation Brisbane if you’re unsure – they’ll be able to give you an estimate of how often the filter needs to be cleaned.

Air filter cleaning is typically included as part of your yearly maintenance plan. Your air conditioning technician will handle cleaning the filter once a year. All you need to do is check and clean the filter in between those appointments.

Leo Fletcher
With a Master’s in Engineering from Georgia Tech and a distinguished 25-year system design and analysis career, Leo Fletcher has been a vital part of various teams. His professional journey began as a systems engineer, where he developed a keen eye for technical details and system efficiencies. He has contributed to numerous technical journals and workshops, aiming to simplify complex concepts for a broader audience. He is a passionate woodworker outside the office, a hobby reflecting his love for precise, crafted outcomes.

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