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How Often To Clean Split Type Aircon


Investing in an air conditioner has its pros and cons. While most air conditioners are capable of providing a long-term cooling system, some require maintenance from time to time. But how often do you clean a split-type aircon? Much like a window-type AC unit, a split-type aircon also needs occasional cleaning to prevent unnecessary damage to the air conditioning system. Not only will it save us the time and money to do heavy cleaning and fixing, but it also increases the AC’s lifespan and improves its performance.

Here are some pieces of air conditioning advice that can help you maintain the pristine state of your split-type AC unit.

How Often Should Aircon be Cleaned?

Much like installing a split AC, cleaning it might sound tedious too, considering it has an outdoor and indoor unit. However, the recommended servicing span of a split AC is once every two weeks or once every month at maximum. The maintenance also depends on the area surrounding your two units, especially the one placed outside of your house or apartment. Also, take into consideration that cleaning the indoor and outdoor units require different aircon servicing. 

Aircon servicing is a much-needed routine for AC owners. Below are some ways to clean the indoor and outdoor air conditioning units.

Maintaining Your Indoor Unit

​​How Often To Clean Split Type Aircon

The aircon servicing for an inner part doesn’t necessarily require the service of an expert. You can keep it clean as long as you follow the user’s manual and cleaning tips properly. Take note that the indoor AC of a split type has an exterior casing and interior air conditioner filters. To clean the casing, simply wipe it with a wet cloth. Using chemicals and other spray bottles is not recommended, as it can potentially cause heating and damage the inlet system.

On the other hand, the aircon servicing of the air filter can be done by following these maintenance task steps.

  1. Disconnect it from the power source and open the front panel or the air inlet grille.
  2. Cover it with a cleaning bag.
  3. Take out the air filter/s and use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the dust and dirt. 
  4. Alternatively, you can submerge these into lukewarm water with detergent.
  5. Dry these up under direct sunlight.
  6. Check the condenser coils if they are bent or not. Use a “fin comb” to straighten up bent coils to their original state.
  7. Reinstall everything back once a clean filter is finally achieved.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Unit

​​How Often To Clean Split Type Aircon

To maintain the overall peak efficiency of your split AC, the outdoor unit should also be kept clean at all times. Contrary to the indoor one, the outside unit is prone to dirt build-up from external sources. If you placed it near your garden or near trees and shrubs, check and remove fallen leaves, twigs, or branches that may cause damage to the system. If these things are left unattended, moisture will potentially accumulate and the unit will be extremely soiled. 

In addition, aircon servicing for the outdoor unit usually involves the use of a hose to wash away the accumulated debris and dust on its casing. You can also spray it with a coil cleaner and wait 10-15mins until foam sludge is gone. Rinse the coil cleaning fluid through a water pipe. This will also make sure that the refrigerant and compressor of the aircon remain intact. Moreover, make sure that you placed it somewhere near or under a shady place to avoid direct contact with sunlight. You can also replace the make-shift shade where it’s located if it already has holes where raindrops and sunlight may pass through.

Why Does a Split Air Conditioner Unit Need Cleaning?

Aside from keeping yourself free from all the stickiness brought by the intense heat, your AC unit is susceptible to humidity. The build-up of moisture in the air filters can cause them to overheat and lessen their cooling power but increase their energy consumption. Unattended debris can also cause malfunctioning and lower the projected cold air in your room. These also result in the AC making louder noises, because it consumes more energy.

It is also typical for an air conditioner to have ice formation around its evaporator coils. When this occurs, dust, dirt, and fungi can accumulate within the AC unit. It will also reduce the performance of your aircon, or worst can be a source of sickness and allergies.

Conducting proper aircon maintenance on your air conditioner also helps keep you stress-free because your AC is in good condition. Contaminated air filters will lead to an imbalance in the airflow, which will result in your split AC working harder. It can also be the source of diseases and allergies within the household if left uncleaned.

How Do I Know if My Split Air Conditioning Unit Needs Servicing?

While it’s common for an air conditioner to have several technical and performance issues, it’s still important to know some common signs that call for AC maintenance. An unsupervised AC may consume more energy than its intended capacity and sabotage the air conditioning performance. This can potentially increase our electrical bills and the damage to the AC. Knowing the early indicators that might be the cause of the faulty performance of your split AC can help you decide whether to hire the service of an expert or not.

Here are some typical reasons why your air conditioner might not be the same as it was before.

  1. Your air filters or external vents have accumulated dirt, dust, mold, or mildew.
  2. Your aircon is starting to make loud sounds like “huffing”, “wheezing” or “rattling”.
  3. It starts blowing hot air.
  4. It can no longer maintain the coolness of your room for a long period.
  5. A foul smell is beginning to come from your split AC.

Final Thoughts

​​How Often To Clean Split Type Aircon

As their names suggest, the split air conditioner is divided into two units. Both parts of the air conditioner are connected with a copper tube and electrical wires for the split system to work. The inside unit functions as a ventilator and a vaporizer whereas the outside unit serves a condensing function. It is important to consult the manufacturer’s guide to know the advantages and potential risks of your split aircon.

In most cases, its efficiency and capacity to cool the room sometimes lie in our ability to maintain its pristine conditions. While many ask how often to clean a split-type aircon, it is already given to conduct regular maintenance to check the filter, the condenser, and how much energy it consumes. The results of the diagnosis will give us an idea of what to fix or replace or if we need to hire a professional service to clean our split aircon.

Watch: How to Clean a Split-Type Aircon

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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