How to Clean Air Conditioner Filters

cleaning air conditioner filters

Ah, summer! It’s fast approaching and that means it's time to make sure you’re fighting fit and ready for that summer heat. And it all starts with clean air conditioner filters. Now’s a great time to give your trusty air conditioning unit’s filters a good clean, to make sure it’s ready to keep you cool when you need it to.

Knowing how to clean air conditioning units is a good opportunity to save some money by doing it yourself; this isn’t a task you need a handyman to do for you. We’ve set out the simple steps for how to clean your air conditioner filters with a minimum of fuss.

Tools needed:

  • Step ladder (if your air conditioning unit is mounted up on a wall)
  • Cloths – a dry, soft cloth and a damp cloth
  • Soft brush – optional; a dry, soft cloth may be sufficient depending on dust build-up
  • Replacement mesh filters – if your existing ones are damaged or holey

Step 1: Open the indoor air conditioning unit

If your air conditioning unit is wall-mounted, grab your ladder and carefully position yourself in front of the indoor unit. The front cover should lift if you grab either side of the grill and pull up. If this doesn’t work, your filter may be on top of the unit; in this case, it’ll have a small cover that you can lift, and then the filter will come out.

Step 2: Remove the filters

When you lift your air conditioning unit’s grill up, it should stay there in place. You’ll see two mesh filters; to remove these, just lift up from the bottom slightly and then pull them out.

Step 3: Clean the filters

To clean the mesh filters, first brush them with a soft brush or a dry, soft cloth to remove any large particles of dust. Then rinse them under the tap with a damp cloth to wipe them, or the garden hose (if you prefer), to remove any remaining dust and clogged up debris. 

Leave the filters out to dry in a sunny warm spot, until completely dry and ready to return to the air conditioner.

Step 4: Let’s check the evaporator (since we’re here)

While the mesh filters are drying, now’s a great time to check the evaporator that the filters were covering. Take your dry, soft cloth and lightly brush the evaporator and surrounding area to clean any residual dust.

Step 5: Check on the outdoor unit

It’s also a good idea to check your air conditioner’s outdoor unit - this houses the main motor. Check if any dirt, grime or debris is covering the front grill as this will stop the air from circulating properly. Lack of air circulation can cause your compressor to overheat and turn off periodically. Just give the unit a brush over or a spray with the garden hose to remove the grime.

Step 6: Replace the clean filters and close the air conditioner

Once your mesh filters are dry, push them back into place in the air conditioner where you took them out of, and close the grill. 

That’s it – you’re done.

Need replacement filters?

If you’re cleaning your air conditioning unit’s filters and notice they have holes in them, it’s a good idea to replace them at this point. Your unit’s model numbers should be printed on the side of the indoor unit; note it down and give our friendly and professional staff a call to order new filters.  

If you’re having trouble with your air conditioner and you aren’t sure if its filter related or due to another issue, get in touch. We may be able to help and suggest relevant replacement parts to get you up and running or recommend a local airconditioning specialist to get in contact with you. We’re always here to help.

About Wayne Butterworth

Meet Wayne Butterworth, an expert in appliance spare parts and an informative blog writer. With in-depth knowledge and a dedication to helping others, Wayne’s blog provides practical tips and industry insights for appliance repair. Follow his blog for up-to-date information and expert advice.