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How to Change Your AC Filter at Home (Infographic)

Posted: June 9, 2021
Category: Blog

How to Change Your AC Filter at Home-infographic


We count on our air con to keep us comfortable all year round. Much like a car that gets used regularly, air conditioners need regular maintenance to make sure they keep running effectively and efficiently.

One of the simplest and most important things you should do to look after your AC is to change or clean the air filter.

In this article, we provide a step by step guide on how to change your AC filter, plus helpful information about how often you should do so and what types of filters are right for you. 

For more information about maintaining your ducted or split system air conditioning, get in touch with the friendly team at iBreeze.

What happens if you don't change your AC filter?

The filter inside an air conditioning unit is responsible for cleaning the air and removing things such as air pollutants, dust particles, pet dander and pollen. 

Over time particles, dirt and grime will build up on the filter. If the filter isn't cleaned or replaced, it can lead to a number of issues.

What happens if you don't change your air conditioner filter?

What happens if you don't change your AC filter


  • Reduced effectiveness. A clogged filter won't let as much airflow through the system which can reduce the performance of your air conditioner. You might experience less airflow or find that your air-con has to work much harder to cool or heat the room.

  • Increased wear and tear. When the system has to work harder it puts strain on the different parts in the system. This increased wear and tear can reduce the lifespan of your AC and lead to costly breakdowns.

  • Poor indoor air quality. Filters collect all sorts of dirt, bacteria and air pollutants. A dirty filter won't be able to filter out these elements effectively which can reduce the indoor air quality of your home.

How do I know if my air filter needs changing?

Keep an eye out for these warning signs that your air filter needs changing:

  • There is excessive dust on the filter

  • The filter is a grey colour

  • Your AC is ineffective or working very hard

  • It's been a long time since you changed the filter

  • You've noticed a spike in your energy bills

How to change an AC filter

How to change an AC filter

In many cases, you can change or clean a home air conditioning filter yourself. If you're not sure how to do so and would like a demonstration, ask your air conditioning specialist next time you call them in to service your system and they’ll be able to show you what to do.

Step 1. Turn off the power

It's important to switch off the mains power when servicing your air conditioner. Firstly, it's a safety measure that will protect you from any electric shocks. Secondly, switching off the power will prevent any dust and dirt from being sucked up into the system where you don't want it.

Step 2. Locate the filter

For a split system air conditioner, the filter will be located in the indoor unit. Press the button on the cover to open the grill. You should be able to see the filters clearly inside.

For ducted air conditioning systems, the filter is usually located in the return air duct. You should find this installed in the ceiling in a central area of your home, such as a hallway or living room.

Step 3. Remove the old filter

This step is usually as simple as sliding out the filter. Once you've got it out, inspect the filter to see if it needs replacing or cleaning. If it has been a few months since you last replaced the filter, chances are it's ready for another replacement.

Step 4. Clean the filter (if reusable)

Some air filters are reusable and can be cleaned instead of thrown out and replaced. Reusable filters are typically made of a more sturdy material and may have a metal or plastic frame. Disposable filters tend to have a cardboard frame.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. Usually, that will involve vacuuming up the dust or rinsing with warm clean water.

Step 5. Insert the cleaned or new air filter

Simply slot the clean or new filter into place. Most filters will have an arrow or some marking to help you figure out the right direction. Write down the date when you replaced the filter and set up a reminder in your phone for the next replacement.

Choosing the right type of filter for your AC

Choosing the right type of filter for your AC


Air conditioner filters come with Australian Standard ratings which tell you how effective they are at cleaning the air. The higher the rating, the more expensive and effective the filter will be.

You should also choose the right size filter for your air conditioning system. Some systems may be designed to take disposable filters, while others may come with a reusable filter that can be cleaned and reinserted. Check out the manufacturer's guidelines for more specific information.

How often do air conditioner filters need to be changed?

Air conditioner filters should be changed every season, as a rule of thumb. It's especially important to inspect the filter during high use periods such as summer and winter.

If you live in a dusty environment or use your air conditioner frequently, it's a good idea to change the filter more regularly. 

How often do air conditioner filters need to be changed


Check the manufacturer's guidelines for how often to clean or change the filters and set a reminder in your phone so that you don't forget. Running your air con with a clogged filter can lead to bigger problems with your system.


Can I run my AC without a filter temporarily?

Your air con will technically run without an air filter, but you shouldn't do so. Not having an air filter inserted will leave your air con vulnerable to dust, debris and other particles which may damage the working parts. The air quality inside your home will decrease and may cause health problems for you.

Be sure to have spare air filters on hand that you can use to replace if needed. You can also call an air con technician if you have issues with your AC filter.

Keep your AC in top shape with iBreeze

In general, you can follow this guide on "how to change your AC filter" to improve the performance of your air conditioner and the air quality inside your home. However, in some cases, your AC might need a bit more TLC.

The best way to efficiently run air conditioning in your home is through regular upkeep and calling your local air conditioning service provider for a professional service. 

Keep your AC in top shape with iBreeze

iBreeze provides air conditioning maintenance services to Mandurah, Rockingham and surrounds. We can help you change your filter, fix performance issues and catch problems before they become too costly. We also offer ducted and split system air conditioning installation services.

Call us today on (08) 9534 9491 for a free, no-obligation quote.

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