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For many, their air conditioner is a prized possession, keeping their home an absolute oasis. However, no matter which type of air conditioner you have, it’s vital that you take the time to clean it regularly, especially if it’s used a lot.

Still, not everyone knows how to clean an air conditioner. 

how to clean an air conditioner

How to Clean an Air Conditioner

So, where do you even start? The most important factors to note is that this task can take some time, and it’s essential to do it right, rather than just rushing through it. It also does take some agility, which is why many people may just hire a professional to do it properly. 

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t clean your aircon filter yourself. You’ll just need some patience, a few fine motor skills and perhaps one or two tools. We recommend checking your user manual to make sure you have everything you need. 

There are different types of air conditioners, and the steps to change the filter on each may differ slightly. 

Once you’ve checked your manual, set aside some time, and prepared all your tools, you can follow our step-by-step guide on how to clean an air conditioner filter. 

air conditioner in a room

How to Clean Ducted Air Conditioner Filter

Ducted air conditioners used to be very popular in many households and luckily cleaning your air filter is relatively straightforward. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1: Turn off the power to your unit. This will ensure you avoid any accidental damage. 

Step 2: Open your AC unit. This will require you to disconnect the holdings and disconnect the air grille from the frame. 

Step 3: Slide out the air filter. This should be reasonably easy. 

Step 4: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any lint, dust or debris from the filter. You can also give a quick and gentle vacuum to the inside of your AC, just be sure not to damage anything. 

Step 5: Wash the filter under some warm water to clean off any other residue. Then, place the filter in a sunny spot to dry out thoroughly. 

Step 6: Once fully dry, slide the filter back into your unit and re-secure the grill.

How to Clean Split Air Conditioner

Split air conditioners are now one of the more common types of air conditioner to find in homes. While it may have some more moving parts, it’s also mostly straightforward to clean. 

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Allow your unit to dry out thoroughly. If it has been running on a low temperature, moisture tends to build up, so simply switch your AC on ‘Fan’ mode and let it run for 30-40 minutes to dry out. 

Step 2: Disconnect your unit from the power source. Again, this is to protect it from any accidental damage. 

Step 3: Detach the front panel from your unit. You will either need to undo latches or push designated tabs to loosen the front panel. 

Step 4: Unfasten your filter. These are the long rectangular pieces; again, there should be designated latches or tabs to push to loosen the filter. 

Step 5: Vacuum your filters to remove any debris and then wash under warm water with a disinfecting soap to clean and kill bacteria. Place your filters into a sunny spot and allow them to dry out thoroughly.

how to clean split air conditioner

Step 6: Some units have a bacteria filter too. Simply remove it and clean as above. Ensure you leave it to dry in the sun. 

Step 7: Use a cloth to clean your cooling fins and remove and dust build-up. 

Step 8: You may need to clean your coils occasionally. You can use a no-rinse evaporator spray which you can purchase from your local hardware store. Once sprayed, leave on for 20 minutes then wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth. 

Step 9: Should you wish, you can spray the inside of your unit with an anti-fungal spray that will deter bacteria’s growth within your unit. 

Step 10: Once your filters are fully dry, re-secure them within your unit, replace the front panel and allow your AC to run on a low temperature for about 20 minutes to flush out any remaining dust.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Your Air Conditioner? 

Now that you know how to clean your air conditioner, it’s essential to understand why. Regular cleaning will guarantee:

  • Less frequent, pricey repairs on your unit. 
  • Healthier system and cleaner air circulating your home.
  • Better performance means lower energy costs. 
  • The longevity of your unit. 

It is recommended to clean your air conditioner unit every few months, so be sure to keep up with maintenance as much as possible. A cleaner air conditioner, means cleaner, healthier air for you and your family. 

If you’re worried about doing it yourself, we recommend contacting a licensed specialist who is trained on how to clean an air conditioner.

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