Why Replace Your Home Air Conditioning System’s Air Filters?

December 21, 2020
A woman looking at a used and dirty filter from her split type airconditioner.

As a homeowner, there are plenty of things you can do throughout the year to keep your home comfortable and your appliances working at peak performance. One important DIY task is to clean and replace your air conditioning system’s air filters on a regular basis. Here’s why.

#1 – It Ensures Good Air Quality – and Good Health – in Your Home

When air filters are clean and in good repair, they boost the air quality inside your home by filtering out air pollution, pollen, smoke, dust, pet dander and other harmful particulates commonly found in our air. These allergens can trigger allergies, asthma, and respiratory conditions, amongst others. A working air filter helps support your health, ensuring you have a constant supply of fresh, clean air when you’re at home.

There’s no set time to replace your air filter, as it really depends on how dirty the air is in your environment. For example, an air filter in a city apartment typically needs replacing more frequently than one from a home in a more remote, suburban or rural setting.  Air filters are white in colour, so if you check on your filter and it is dark grey or black (or damaged), then it’s time to replace it.

#2 – It Helps You Save the Environment – and Your Energy Bills

When an air filter is dirty, it obstructs air flow and becomes a blockage in your air conditioning system. This forces your air conditioner to work harder to supply your home with cooled air, which means it’s drawing on more energy than it needs to.

This increases your carbon footprint and contributes to damage to the environment, as well as costing you more to run your system. If you want a quick and easy way to save on your energy costs this summer and protect the environment at the same time, all you need to do is regularly check and clean your air filter, and replace it when needed.

#3 – It Reduces Wear and Tear – and Maintenance Costs

Air filters don’t just filter air for your home, they filter air for the machinery of the system itself. When old filters start to decay, the air quality is affected as they start sending fibres and debris into the rest of the air conditioning system where it can get caught up in moving parts.

This strains the machinery of your system, causing more rapid wear and tear, and resulting in the need for more frequent and more costly repairs.

#4 – It Promotes Longevity

When you invest in a new air conditioning system, which is a significant cost, you want it to last. Just like a car, you need to commit to regular maintenance to make that happen. Something as simple as keeping an eye on your air filter and cleaning or replacing it as needed is an affordable way to ensure your home has cost-effective cool air through the summers for many, many years to come.

A hand with neatly trimmed nails holding up a pair of washed filters with an overhead view of a white split type aircon on a wall that's painted brown.

How to Change an Air Conditioner Filter

Every air conditioning system is a little different, so haul out that manual to help you make this process as quick and easy as possible.

  • Switch off the power – Turn off all power to the air conditioning system.
  • Find the air filter – There are several places your air filter can be. In a ducted system, the filter is usually located behind the return air grill in the ceiling or wall. In a split system, which is the most common type in Australia, it will be located behind the front cover of the unit. Your manual should show this location clearly.
  • Clean your filter – Most modern air filters are designed to be cleaned a number of times before they will need replacing. Vacuum it on low power or brush softly to dust it if it isn’t too dirty. You can also clean it gently under cool water, using a mild detergent. Make sure the filter is completely dry before you reinstall it. If the filter looks very old or has damage/wear, then consider replacing it.
  • Use the correct replacement filter – If you aren’t sure what filter your unit uses, simply remove the filter and take it to a local air conditioning specialist. They will be able to identify it and order replacement filters for you.


If you have an outdoor unit or simply want a professional service to properly clean and maintain your air conditioning system, then talk to local repairs and servicing specialists. At Tailored Heating & Cooling Solutions in Melbourne, we have over 30 years of industry experience and tailor our solutions to fit your needs and budget.

Chat to our team today and let us ensure your air conditioning system is in perfect operating condition.

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