Category - Air Conditioning
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 15 Apr ● 3 min read

Air conditioning filters: types of maintenance

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The filter of your air conditioning unit is vital for removing dust, pollen and anything harmful from the air. Air filters are beneficial for everyone as they improve air quality and have added health benefits too! If you are wondering how to maintain your filter or whether to swap to a more efficient filter, BOXT have created this handy guide to help you out. 

From time to time, your air filter gathers dust and becomes clogged, this can block the airflow and reduce your systems efficiency, causing a rise in those energy bills (oh no!). Some types of filters are reusable and just need a little clean, others need replacing.

First let’s talk about the different types of filters.

The different types of air conditioning filters


Pleated filters are a cost-effective option. They are extremely efficient, known to trap smaller airborne particles than the fibreglass filters as their pleats give them a wider surface area. When it comes to maintaining the pleated filter, it needs replacing now and then if it becomes clogged. 


Reusable filters can be cleaned and used again. These are cost-effective filters designed for someone who doesn’t use their air conditioner that often or someone who keeps it on a low setting. This filter is not very efficient when it comes to removing smaller airborne particles, though. 


Fibreglass filters are one of the cheapest, most popular options out there but they aren’t the most efficient. These can’t be reused, they need replacing. 


Electrostatic filters are one of the most efficient, costing you a little more than the average filter. These filters have self-charging fibres which use static electricity to trap airborne particles. When it comes to maintenance, these will need replacing. 

What’s best - a reusable filter or a disposable one? 

Reusable filters are great as they save money in the long run and can be used over and over again; all it takes is a quick rinse. Disposable filters tend to trap more particles and are more efficient but need replacing every 1-2 months. So, both have their advantages. It's about choosing what’s best for you. 

When should I change or clean my air filter? 

Your air filter should be changed or cleaned every couple of months as hazardous particles can accumulate and block the filter, reducing its efficiency. These contaminants can make their way back into the air, making it even dirtier than before and cause a range of health problems.

If your air conditioner is not working properly - it’s likely to be the filter. The most common cause of a faulty air conditioning system is a clogged filter. 

How do I change my filter? 

First, make sure the system is turned off. In a duct system, the filter is placed in the outdoor unit and can be removed by unclipping it. In a ductless system, the filter is found in the indoor unit; this again, easily unclips. 

How do I clean my reusable filter? 

So, you have a reusable filter that doesn’t need replacing but needs cleaning. This can be washed down with water in a sink or even a hosepipe but make sure it’s properly dry; otherwise, it may grow harmful bacteria! Another way you can clean your reusable filter is by using the vacuum cleaner to extract all of the dust (and other dirty particles). 

BOXT can answer any queries. 

For more information on the correct filter for your system or anything that this handy guide hasn’t covered, call us on 0800 193 7777. Alternatively, you can message us on our Live Chat for advice on air conditioning filters and maintenance.

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