How to Clean Your Ducted Air Con Filter
Installing a ducted air conditioner is a great way to keep the family comfortable year-round. But ducted air conditioning is a big investment, and regular maintenance is the best way to ensure you get decades of enjoyment from the system.
Cleaning the air filter is a core part of air conditioning maintenance. It’s included in all professional air conditioning servicing, but it’s also a DIY-friendly job that you can tackle yourself in an hour or two! If you don’t mind a bit of a challenge, we’re going to go over how to clean your ducted air con filter and make sure it’s working properly.
Signs Your Air Con Filter Needs Cleaning
Filters are an important part of ducted air conditioning systems. All the air circulated by the system passes through a filter that removes dust, dirt, allergens and other contaminants. That means the air inside your home is always clean, and it prevents dust from building up on the air conditioner’s internal components.
But air filters need cleaning from time to time. Dirty filters block airflow to the rest of the system. This puts unnecessary strain on components such as internal fan motors, which can lead to premature burnout. Regularly cleaning your air filter will prevent this, extend the lifespan of your system and help keep your power bills under control. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to clean your air filter:
- Reduced air flow. Build ups of dust and dirt on the return filter can stop your air conditioner from circulating air through the ductwork properly. If your air con seems to blow less air than it used to, it can be a sign that the filter needs cleaning.
- Uneven air temperatures. A blocked air filter can lead to system faults that may result in an air conditioner that struggles to cool your room properly.
- Musty smells. Musty, dusty and mouldy smells are some of the most obvious signs that your air filter needs cleaning. If the air coming out of your air conditioning ducts smells odd, cleaning the filter may solve the problem.
How to Clean Your Ducted Air Con Return Air Filter
The filter for your ducted air conditioner is found behind the return air grille. The return air grille is usually installed in the ceiling near the centre of your home. Locate the return air grille and follow the instructions below to clean the filter:
- Turn off the air conditioning system.
- Undo the clips or fasteners holding the return air grille to the ceiling. These grilles can usually be hinged open to access the filter.
- Remove the filter from the housing. Most filters slide into place, but some are held in with clips.
- Use a vacuum to remove the bulk of the dust from the filter.
- Take the filter outside and clean the cloth element using a garden hose. You can use a gentle soap to remove any stubborn dust deposits.
- Once clean, use the hose to remove any remaining soap.
- Leave the filter to dry in a shady spot.
- Slide the filter back into its housing, close the grille and screw its fasteners back into place.
- Test the system to make sure it’s working properly.
That’s it, you’re done! When cleaning, keep in mind that the cloth filter element may be fragile, so avoid scrubbing to remove dirt. You should be able to clean off most of the dust using a hose and a cloth.
When to Replace Your Air Con Filter
Air conditioning filters are typically made of durable cloth that can last for years with regular cleaning. While it’s a good idea to clean the filter every 6 months or so (you may need to clean it more often if you live in a dusty environment), the filter only needs to be replaced if it shows signs of wear. If the filter element begins to look shaggy or torn, or if the element starts to come away from the frame, it’s time for a replacement.
Air filters only work properly when the element is firmly attached to the frame. Gaps around the frame will allow air and dust to leak through, which can damage the system’s internal components. If you’re cleaning your air con filter and find that it looks worse for wear, contact an air conditioning service technician. They’ll be able to source and install a replacement filter to ensure your air con is working properly.
Get Your Ducted Air Conditioning Ready for Summer with Technicool!
Ducted air conditioning filters need regular cleaning. This not only improves the air quality in your home, it prolongs the lifespan of your air conditioning. The best time to clean your air con filter is in the lead up to summer when the system isn’t getting much use. It’s a DIY-friendly job if you don’t mind a bit of hard work, or the technicians at Technicool are happy to help!
Technicool provides fast, affordable and reliable air conditioning services across Brisbane. We service all types of residential and commercial ducted air conditioning, providing regular maintenance and repairs to keep your system in top condition. Talk to us today to find out more or to make a booking!