Type to search

How To Clean an Aircon Filter


Filters are essential to all types of air conditioners, as they help in keeping the air clean. However, they can be clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris, leading to reduced efficiency and system failure. 

Of course, your AC filter would require much maintenance and professional services, but cleaning it would also suffice.

In this article, we will explore the importance of cleaning aircon filters and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it properly. Curious to learn more? Just keep reading this guide!

What is an Air Conditioner Filter?

aircon filter

Typically located in the handling unit of the aircon, an aircon filter is a component that helps remove contaminants that are circulated through the air conditioning system. 

Aside from filtering contaminants, it also improves the airflow running in your home by keeping out bigger particles away from your AC.

What are the Types of AC Filters?


Fiberglass is the most basic and inexpensive type of AC filter. It is made of interwoven fibers of glass and is effective at trapping large particles. However, it doesn’t filter out smaller particles, such as mold or bacteria.


Pleated filters are more effective at trapping smaller particles. They are more expensive than fiberglass ones, but they can help improve the overall air quality of your home.

Activated Carbon 

Activated carbon filters contain activated carbon, a highly effective material in absorbing odors and contaminants. They are often used in homes with pets or smokers.


Designed to capture 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in size, a HEPA filter effectively removes allergens and other fine particles.


This type of filter uses an electrostatic charge to attract and trap particles. It can also be washed and reused.

Can I Clean My Aircon Filter?

As mentioned above, there are different types of filters. To know whether you can wash your filter, you must first identify the type your aircon has. You can also refer to the instruction manual for your aircon and check whether you have a washable or disposable one. 

If you have a disposable filter, then the answer is no. You have to throw it out and start replacing it regularly. On the other hand, a washable one is easy to access since you can take it out of the air conditioning unit and wash it with water.

How to Clean Your Air Filters?

A dirty and moisture-clogged filter won’t do an excellent job of keeping the dust and debris off. The more clogged the filter, the harder the machine has to work to push air through it, making your equipment overheat and attracting more electricity.

Therefore, it is essential to clean an air conditioning filter regularly. Although hiring professional services to access your aircon is advisable, you can also clean and maintain your filter yourself.

Determine What You Need

Check your air conditioner’s instruction manual to determine whether you have to clean or replace your AC filters. Once you’ve proved that your filter can be cleaned, you can move on to the next step. However, if you have a disposable filter, have it replaced with a new one, and remember to do so at least every three months. 

Turn Off Your Aircon

Turning on your AC unit while cleaning your filter will cause a rush of unfiltered air inside your house, and the evaporator coil will accumulate dust and contaminants. That said, make sure to power off your unit while you clean an air conditioner filter to keep your home and equipment safe. 

Locate and Access the Air Filter

Check the user manual to get information on your air conditioner’s filter. The locations of these filters vary depending on the type of your unit.

Once you’ve secured access to the filter, pull or unclip it from your aircon and start cleaning.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is one of the best methods for regular cleaning since it can absorb the grit and dust from the air conditioner filters.

Rinse for a Deeper Clean

If you notice that a good deal of particulate is still attached to your air filter, you can try deep washing it. Here are the steps to follow in cleaning your air filters thoroughly:

  • Mix warm water and mild detergent or one liter of water mixed with 30 grams of citric acid. 
  • For a few hours, submerge the filters in the mixture. You can leave it for hours if needed. If you’re using a mixture of water and citric acid, you only need at least 15 minutes to soak it.
  • Drain the mixture and let it dry completely.
  • Use a dry cloth to wipe off its wet surface before putting it back.

Spray Water on Your Filter

You can take your air conditioner filters outside and spray them with running water. Remember not to use a pressurized hose nozzle. The shower can also spray its entire surface, front and back, in a zig-zag motion. After showering, let it dry and place it in the aircon.

Use the Automatic Cleaning Function

If you own a modern AC unit equipped with the function that will clean an air conditioner filter for you, then you can use that to keep your air conditioner clean. The internal cassette and brush device of modern air conditioners can remove particles, deposit them into a small chamber and push the air outwards.

Clean an Air Conditioner Filter Regularly

While various aircons have different filter cleaning requirements, you can always consult your manufacturer to get instructions on how and when to clean an air conditioner filter. For example, some manufacturers recommend cleaning it every two weeks, once every 30 days, or only one to four times per year.

However, if you constantly use your AC unit, take care of pets, or have allergies, you must clean an air conditioner filter more often than usual.  

Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Condenser Coils

To improve the efficiency and lifespan of your AC unit, it is also essential to clean the condenser coils in your outdoor unit. You can use a soft-bristled brush to scrub alternately and access the in-betweens of the grating of the aircon’s intake or an industrial-strength vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove grime and dirt. 

Discard if Necessary

Although careful and regular cleaning can make your filter last longer, it will eventually wear out. Start replacing an old filter once you notice any tears, holes, or damages. You can also contact a professional service for more access to quality indoor air.

Importance of Cleaning Air Conditioner Filter

A clean filter helps circulate cool, clean, fresh air and prevents dirt and heat build-up on the internal components of the AC system.  Keeping the filter clean can also bring better air flow and less energy consumption. 

That said, you can save more money as it lowers your electricity bill and helps avoid future AC repairs and replacements.

Final Thoughts

The importance of a clean aircon filter cannot be understated. Not only does it improve the efficiency and performance of the air conditioning unit, but it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the airflow in your home. 

A dirty filter can contribute to indoor air pollution, leading to various health problems such as allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Therefore, it is essential to regularly check and clean an air conditioner filter to ensure that you and your loved ones are breathing clean and healthy air. 

Remember, a little bit of maintenance can go a long way in keeping the heat at bay and maintaining the overall health of your home.

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.

  • 1