How Often Should I Clean My Aircon Filter?

Air conditioning has turned into a necessity in a hot and humid country like the Philippines. While turning on your AC unit is one thing, you should also not forget to do regular maintenance checks to keep your aircon in proper working condition. One regular procedure you should do is to clean your aircon filter. How often should you do it?

As the very least, you should clean your air conditioner’s filter once every three months. However, it is also recommended to check on the filter once every two weeks to clear any buildup as it happens.

In this article, we will go through the aircon filter’s function, how to clean the filter, and how often to do so.

What does an aircon filter do?

Air conditioners work by taking in air from the room and passing it over the evaporator. As the refrigerant gas in the evaporator evaporates, it “absorbs” the heat from the air which makes it cold, at which point it gets blown in to the room.

Before the air reaches the evaporator, it goes through the aircon filter first. This filters out impurities in the air like dust, pet dander, pollen, and smoke to improve the air quality in your room.

Over time, these impurities will buildup on the filter, thereby limiting its ability to perform its function.

Signs that you need to clean your aircon filter

A dirty air filter will manifest itself with the following symptoms:

1. Your aircon is blowing out ice

If there is a thick layer of dust on the air filter, it may trap cold air over the evaporator coils. When the air is humid, the water vapors in the air will freezer over the evaporator, forming a lump of ice. Once this ice thaws, it will eventually get spitted out by your aircon.

2. Weak air flow

The thick layer of grime on the filter can also impede the airflow coming out of your aircon. Hence, your aircon will suffer from weak cooling.

3. Your electricity bills are increasing

If you’re noticing an abnormal increase in your monthly electricity bill, it may be because of your aircon’s dirty air filter.

As mentioned earlier, a clogged aircon filter can reduce the airflow coming out of your unit. This will result in weak cooling, and your room will not feel as cold as usual. Worse, the AC’s thermostat will pick up on this deficiency in cooling, and will instruct the compressor to work harder so that it can reach the desired temperature.

Since your air conditioner will have to work harder to make cold air with a dirty filter, it will increase your electricity bills by about 5% – 15%.

How often do you need to clean your aircon filter?

It is recommended that you check on your AC’s filter every two weeks to check for severe dust buildup and blockages. At the very least, you should clean your aircon filter once every three months.

If you live in a severely polluted area, you may want to check on your aircon filter more regularly. The street in front of our house was under renovation a few months ago, and the resulting dust from the construction collected on the filter in less than a week.

Benefits of a clean air filter

A clean air filter has a lot of benefits for your comfort and health.

1. Less allergy attacks

You will suffer from fewer allergic rhinitis attacks with a clean air filter as it does a better job at filtering out allergens from the air compared to a dirty filter.

Moreover, a dirty air filter can harbor molds and mildew which release spores all over your room, thereby adding to the allergens already in the air.

2. Lower electricity bills

As mentioned earlier, a dirty filter can increase your electricity bill by 15% because the aircon has to work harder to cool your room with a hampered airflow.

Regularly cleaning the filter is a good practice if you want to reduce your monthly electricity bill.

3. Longer air conditioner lifespan

Another advantage of a clean air filter is that it can extend the lifespan of your aircon.

Still riffing off on the “air conditioner will work harder with a dirty filter” angle, a he AC’s compressor can wear out quicker as it compensates for the weak cooling performance brought about by a clogged air filter.

Performing simple maintenance procedures such as cleaning the air filter is a good way to extend the lifespan of your aircon.


Cleaning your aircon filter is an easy and simple thing to do that will certainly go a long way to help extend the lifespan of your aircon. If you don’t you may have to deal with an AC that is blowing out ice, or high electricity bills.


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