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If you make use of a ducted air conditioning system inside your home, it is crucial for it to continue to work at peak efficiency. Under certain circumstances, you may not be able to get your ducted air conditioner working optimally.

One such instance is when the air conditioning system becomes dirty. Many individuals get stuck at this point because they do not consider the need to clean the appliance when it is dirty.

If you are in this situation, this post is meant to guide you on keeping your ducted air conditioner clean at all times. It will also help you with what to expect when you schedule the appliance servicing.

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Ducted AC? 

Keeping your ducted AC clean is essential because it can cause your energy expenses to skyrocket and can negatively affect your health. If you have a properly maintained ducted air conditioner, it can provide you and other family members with clean air free of dust and any other form of airborne contaminant.

Before you embark on scheduling for your ducted air conditioning system to be serviced, there are a few basic tasks you should consider carrying out yourself. Conducting the following tasks will help to ensure the optimal running of your air conditioning system.

Clean your return air filters

The filters in your ducted air conditioner will collect dust and other airborne impurities over time. The filters prevent dirt from being sucked into the air conditioner as they may block the cooling coils or clog the drain.

It would be best to clean your air conditioner filters at least once every three months. Cleaning your air filters is probably the best thing to consider if you want to keep your air conditioner performing efficiently.

Remove debris and objects around your outdoor unit

Some substances, such as dog hair and grass, can make their way into the condenser coils. The airflow through the condenser coils, located at the back of the air conditioner's outdoor unit, could become restricted. The appliance's energy efficiency and overall performance at this point will decrease considerably.

When mowing your lawn, it is advised that you blow away grass clippings some distance from your air conditioner to ensure it continues running efficiently. Check and confirm that no materials obstruct the airflow of the air conditioner's fan.

Some home improvement tips suggest that you cover your air conditioner to improve your outdoor space's aesthetics. This is certainly not good advice to follow as doing this can inhibit airflow, causing the air-con system to overwork and underperform.

In fact, when air conditioners do not function optimally, especially during the summer heat, as little as removing the cover or any obstructing material can get it back to its previous peak performance level.

Clean your gutters

The ducted air conditioner drains are usually found in the gutters, but you may have to ask your installer where yours is located. If the gutters are clogged up with materials such as debris, dirt, and leaves, the drain may not be able to flow freely. Various problems may arise from a clogged drain, such as the cooling coils getting submerged in water and water overflowing onto your ceiling.

When the cooling coils are submerged in water, slime, mildew, and rust can begin to form from the inside of the air conditioner. Eventually, your air conditioner can start to experience refrigerant leakage. Once your air conditioner has a clogged drain, it indicates that the drip pan inside the air conditioner has been filled with water.

When used, the air conditioner's indoor fan may suck the water into the airstream, flinging it into the flexible ductwork. When this happens, it can cause damage and waterlogging. Apart from keeping your air conditioning system properly maintained, it would be best if you chose a time for the servicing that will be most appropriate for you and your family.

While the servicing is carried out, the air con system will not be in use, so it is better to carry out the process during one of the cooler periods of the year. It is equally important that as you arrange for the servicing of the air conditioner, you ensure that the technician can gain access to all the parts of the air con system. The parts that need to be inspected during the servicing process include the following:

  • Indoor unit
  • Outdoor unit cabinet
  • Refrigerant pipe connections
  • Ductwork and fittings
  • Return air filters
  • Zone motors
  • Wall controller

Clean and Replace Air Filters in Ducted ACs

It is necessary to clean the filters in a ducted air conditioner regularly, and you can even complete this process before the annual servicing of the unit. Cleaning air filters in your ducted air conditioner will prevent issues with its efficiency and anything that may cause the fan coil to get damaged.

Typically, you should check the filters of your air conditioners every three months, and this gets easier if your unit comes with a message-prompting feature. However, the message may not be based on how dirty the filter is but after a regulated amount of time, usually three months. To clean a ducted air conditioner filter, simply open the filter frame and slide the filter out.

You can wash it in warm water and leave it outside to dry. Once you confirm the filter is dry, slide it back into the frame. While you may not immediately notice it, there would be a significant difference in the efficiency levels and airflow of your air conditioning system. At some point, you will have to change your air conditioner filter.

The frequency of the change will depend largely on the quality of the filters you buy for the air conditioner. For the cheaper ones, it is recommended that you change them once a year. High-quality air filters can be used for many years without hassles. However, remember that the approaches above are based on the assumption that you clean your filters regularly.

When To Replace Air Filters in Your AC

Several signs can tell you that your air conditioner filters need replacement. The first thing to do is check for an error code on your air conditioning system. The error codes differ based on the brand of air conditioning system you have installed. Generally, they can serve as suggestions that there is a problem with the filter that should be corrected.

There may be visible dirt around the vents and even the filter too.

Once the air filter gets clogged, dirt and other contaminants get released into your air conditioning unit. This may also be a sign the air-con ducts are dirty. Another helpful sign to watch out for is considerable spikes in your energy bills. Your total air-con energy consumption can significantly reduce when you replace a clogged air-con filter. This is because clogged air con systems are made to work harder before they can produce the same results.

Additionally, air conditioners with clogged filters require longer times to cool down spaces where they are installed. Trapped and accumulated particles can lead to the development of mould and moisture in your home. This can cause your air-con unit to start giving off a peculiar and unpleasant smell. If people with allergies live in your home with you, you may discover that their symptoms could become worse.

The clogged filter creates pressure from the air conditioner that pushes the trapped allergens into your home, which can cause problems such as sore throats, dry eyes, and runny nose. Filters made of double-layered electrostatic washable filter media are more durable. If appropriately cleaned every three months, they can last for the duration of the air conditioning system's lifespan.

Hire Professional Cleaning Services 

Cleaning the filters of your ducted air conditioners can be simple for you to do yourself. However, there are other things that need to be done, especially concerning the inspection of the components and general air conditioner servicing.

It is better to call on HVAC professionals proficient in air conditioner cleaning to do this for you. Doing so will help you avoid leaving anything to chance and have your ducted air conditioner working optimally for a long time.

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