Keep your air-con clean for good health

Breathe better: Regularly cleaning air conditioner filters ensures clean air and keeps the unit working efficiently. Picture: Supplied.
Breathe better: Regularly cleaning air conditioner filters ensures clean air and keeps the unit working efficiently. Picture: Supplied.

Poor indoor air quality can result in significant adverse impacts on health and environment. In recent years, comparative risk studies have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.

It is generally recognised that Australians spend 90 per cent or more of their time indoors.

Cleaning the filter will not only remove bacteria and mould build-up it will also ensure the unit is running to optimal efficiency and power consumption.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia (MHIAA) offers the following guide to clean filters on a wall-mounted split system.

Step One: Open your air conditioner

  • Gently, but firmly pull up the air inlet panel
  • Lightly hold the knobs on both sides and lift a little to remove the panel forward

Tip:If the panels are jammed and a bit difficult to open and close, use gentle force ensuring you don't damage the unit.

Step Two: Spot the air filters

Wall-mounted reverse-cycle systems are fitted with three different types of filters which ensure allergens, bacteria and other pollutants are trapped and neutralised. Locate the following filters and pull them out gently:

  • One allergen clear filter - light orange
  • One photocatalytic deodorising filter - orange
  • Two air filters - clear / mesh

Wall-mounted cool-only systemsare fitted with two different types of filters. Look out for:

  • Two air filters - clear / mesh
  • One natural enzyme filter - green

Step Three: Clean and dry

Use a sponge and some warm soapy water to clean out any trapped dirt and grime from filters. Then simply place them somewhere safe in the sun to dry - this reactivates their properties.

Tip: To avoid damaging filters, do not clean them using boiling water or dry over an open flame.

Step Four: Done and dusted

Re-installing filters for both reverse cycle or cool only models is stress-free and quick. Hold the filter firmly on both sides and insert securely.

Maintaining air conditioning unit filters is a crucial part of the overall service that should not be skipped.

On top of cleaning the air conditioner filter once every four months or once a season, MHIAA suggests an annual service by a licensed professional, who will be able to check whether all parts of your unit are operating effectively.