How to Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter: A Step-by-Step Guide

An air conditioner filter is one of the most important components to having an efficient, effective cooling system in your home. 

Properly cleaning your ducted air conditioner filter isn’t difficult—it just takes some time and effort! 

The first step in cleaning your air conditioner filter is to turn off the power supply. Once you have done that, take out the filters and vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. If necessary, use a mild detergent and warm water to wash them, dry completely and replace them back into the unit. 

The exact process will depend on what type of filter you have, so make sure to refer to your user manual before proceeding. 

By following these steps regularly (and knowing how regularly to clean your air con filter for maximum efficiency), you can ensure that your AC system runs as efficiently as possible throughout summertime in Australia. 

Plus, when done correctly, this task only takes around 30 minutes or so—so why not give it a try? 

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to clean a split system and ducted air conditioner filter, as well as some tips for maintaining your filter in the long term.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Air Conditioner Filter? 

Cleaning the filter regularly helps to keep it running efficiently and reduce the risk of breakdowns and expensive repairs. Without a clean filter, your air conditioner will not be able to effectively cool the air in your home and it may even cause damage to the unit if left unchecked. 

Keeping your air conditioner filter clean is an important part of maintaining your air conditioner. Let’s look at how to properly clean your air conditioner filter so you can keep your unit running at peak performance for different types of air conditioners. 

How to Clean a Split System Air Conditioner Filter 

Here’s a brief guide on how to clean your split system air conditioner filter. 

  1. Turn off Power to the System – When attempting any DIY project, safety should be your first priority. Before you start working on your air conditioner’s filter, make sure you turn off the power at the switchboard. This will ensure that no electrical shock occurs while you are working on the unit. Additionally, wearing protective gloves and eyewear can help protect against dust particles that may come loose during the cleaning process. 
  2. Access the Air Conditioner Filter – Once you have taken all necessary safety precautions, begin by removing the cover from your air conditioner’s filter housing unit. Depending on the model of your air conditioner, this may require using a screwdriver or Allen key. 
  3. Inspect the Filter – Once removed, pull out the filter and inspect it for any dirt or debris buildup. If there is a significant amount of buildup present, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a damp cloth to remove it before proceeding with further cleaning steps. 
  4. Wash the Filter – Once all visible dirt has been removed from your filter, fill a bucket with warm water and add some liquid detergent or mild soap solution to create some suds in the water. Submerge your filter in the soapy solution and let it soak for five minutes before taking it out and rinsing off with cold water until all traces of soap are gone. 
  5. Return the Filter to the Air Conditioner – Once finished, shake off any excess moisture from your filter before replacing it into its original position in the housing unit and closing up the cover again with screws or an Allen key as required. Make sure that all screws have been tightened correctly so that no dust particles can get through into your air conditioning system.  

How to Clean Ducted Air Conditioner Filter 

It’s important to regularly clean your ducted air conditioner filter. Here, we break down exactly how you can do that like a pro. 

  1. Turn Off the Power – The first step in any DIY project is always safety first, so make sure that you turn off all power sources before getting started. For ducted air conditioners, this means switching off both the main switch and the circuit breaker. Once these are off, you can begin work on the unit without any risk of electric shock. 
  2. Remove the Filter – The next step is to locate and remove the filter from the unit. This will vary depending on what type of AC system you have, but once it is located, use a screwdriver or other tool to carefully remove it from its housing. Be careful not to damage any other parts while doing this! Once removed, take it outside and give it a good shake to get rid of any dirt or dust particles that may be trapped in there. 
  3. Clean with Water and Detergent – Once the filter has been shaken out, fill up a bucket with warm water and some mild detergent. Place the filter in this solution for about 10 minutes before gently scrubbing it with an old toothbrush or similar tool until all dirt has been removed. Make sure that you rinse off all soap residue before drying and returning it back into its housing in your air conditioning system. 

How to Replace an Air Con Filter

Replacing an air conditioner filter is a simple and easy process. Follow these steps to replace an air con filter yourself:

  1. Open the Access Panel – Turn off the power source to the unit and open the access panel. This will give you access to the filter inside. Depending on what type of system you have, this could involve unscrewing screws or simply lifting up a latch on the panel itself. 
  2. Remove the Old Filter – Carefully remove the old filter from its housing and discard it according to local regulations. Make sure that you wear gloves when doing this as some filters can contain dust and debris that can irritate skin and eyes. 
  3. Clean the Inside – Vacuum or wipe down any dust or debris that has accumulated around where the filter was located with a dry cloth or vacuum cleaner attachment. If using a vacuum cleaner, make sure it is set on low suction so that you don’t risk damaging any of the surrounding parts in the unit.
  4. Install the New Filter – Install a new filter according to manufacturer instructions and make sure it fits snugly into place without any gaps for air to escape through. 
  5. Close the Access Panel – Replace the access panel, turn on power source, and test out your newly cleaned air conditioner! Make sure all settings are working properly before leaving it unattended for an extended period of time. 

How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner Filter

To maintain your air conditioner filter, make sure you’re not running your system more than you need to, and you are cleaning it regularly between services and filter replacements. 

In addition to cleaning your air conditioner filters regularly, there are also a few things you can do to help maintain them in good working order over time. Firstly, try not to leave your air conditioner running for extended periods without changing or cleaning its filters – this will help prevent dust and dirt from building up and potentially clogging up the unit itself. 

You should also check on your filters every month or so and clean or replace them when necessary. Finally, if possible try and keep any furniture or other objects away from your unit – this will help ensure that plenty of fresh air is able to reach it at all times. 


Cleaning your air conditioner filter is an important task for homeowners in Australia who want their cooling systems running at peak performance all year round. 

With just a few simple steps, you can easily clean your air conditioner’s filter yourself at home! Taking care of this maintenance task regularly will ensure that your air conditioning unit runs efficiently throughout summer without running up an expensive energy bill in Australia’s hot climate.

With this step-by-step guide in tow, now you know exactly how to do it yourself! Following these steps every few months will ensure that your system runs efficiently and effectively with minimal effort from you — so get cleaning!


This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute an estimate or quote for any specific service. Platinum Power & Air does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. This article is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed technician. 

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