What The F….ilter?!

If you have given yourself the honour of replacing the water filter cartridge in your kitchen without having to call the service guy, you would understand how this routine opens up your eyes and mind on the quality of water which comes out from the kitchen tap. Switch this to the AC (air conditioning) unit in your home, the task gets more rigorous and be prepared to get ‘blown away’ by the ‘things’ which you discover while cleaning your AC filters.

Unless you can afford to call the contractors or the professionals to come and clean the filter every now and then, you better get your hands on ensuring your AC is running on clean filters. If you have not, THIS is the starting point! Having dirty filters can jam up your AC unit, affect the quality of air which you breath (every day/night) and on the long run.. visible spikes in your utilities bill.

I never thought of cleaning my own AC filter until…yesterday. Perhaps I am so used to think that the AC is a no-go zone reserved for the AC guy (think the pest control. You’d rather leave it to the professionals!). But it was an impromptu (almost inquisitive) attempt to check out the filter. How hard could it be?.. I thought as I tried figuring out how to get the unit cover to open.


See if my little adventure below makes sense on why we should start considering cleaning those filters !



If you have a manual of your AC, READ IT.

If you’re living in a rented or bought unit chances are the manual not be available. That shouldn’t stop you figuring out how to clean your filters ! Else try looking for the manual online.



Get a ladder (unless you’re an NBA player!).



Open the covering panel of the AC. A 7 year kid can figure this out and I believe you can too even without a manual


Step 4

Use your eyes. You can’t miss the set of filters in front of you. Remember there are many types of filters. The regular AC would have filters looking like the sample below :-


The AC filter (Photo credit : bigfanair.com.au)


Step 5

Run tap water through the filter to remove dust and dirt. [Use the shower head for more efficiency!].  I used a small brush to make the cleaning process water but had to be careful not to cause and tear in the filter mesh.

note: if you think you can’t handle the dust,wear a mask !


Step 6

Air dry the filter and replace them back in the AC unit.


Step 7

Bear in mind that this is only 1 part of the process of ‘servicing’ your own AC. There are other compartments and parts of the AC which you can easily clean on your own.






Cleaned filter and the yield in soot black!



What a BEFORE and AFTER looks like !



Nope this is not hole in one in grey !


Hope this basic post on cleaning AC filter helps ! Included some useful links below for more info on AC servicing:-

Unfiltered Look at A/C Filters

The Truth About Filters

Mitsubishi Electric-Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Unit in 15 minutes (video)

AC Trivia

The modern day electrical air conditioning unit was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902. It was invented and designed to improve the manufacturing process control in a printing plant.


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