Air conditioning systems, including mini-split units, contain air filters that help to keep the air in the room clean by trapping dust and debris during airflow.
Having an air conditioning system can make the hottest seasons much more bearable. It can also eliminate humidity that may accumulate indoors as a result of the hot weather outside.
Mini-split air conditioners do a great job at cooling larger living spaces and cooling multiple rooms simultaneously.
The cooling process of air conditioning systems involves blowing hot and cold air in and out of the units. Dirt and debris can also be circulated in the air and the unit in this process, but fortunately, air filters inside air conditioners help to trap dirt particles.
Filters in air conditioners
Air conditioners extract hot air from living spaces inside homes and take it through a refrigerant cycle whereby the hot air is condensed when it passes through the air filters and coils.
This air is cooled by the refrigerant as it turns to gas, which is later released as cool air through the air filter.
Finally, the cooler air is released back into the room to cool it. Mini-split air conditioners go through this exact process to efficiently cool a room.
Do mini-split air conditioners have filters?
Mini-split air conditioners come as two components: the indoor air handler and the outside condenser unit. They have two air filters that are contained in the front of the indoor air handlers.
This makes sense since the air handler does most of the work as it pertains to the extraction of hot air from the indoor space, and the release of cooler air back inside.
Air filters are there to ensure that the air being transferred into and out of the room is clean by catching and trapping all the dirt, dust, and debris that circulates in the unit as well as in the room.
With all the airflow that takes place in these air filters, one can only imagine how dirty they can get over long periods of time.
To keep the filters and your mini-split unit in good condition, it is important to wash the filters every few months, as clogged filters can affect the efficiency of the unit’s performance.
Mini-split air conditioners come in different types of units, and your typical wall-mounted mini-split systems has washable plastic mesh filters.
Other types of mini-split systems, such as the ceiling cassette and the concealed ceiling systems, have synthetic fibre air filters that can also be washed as part of the AC’s maintenance.
For ceiling cassette mini-split units, the filter is on the inside of the front panel that is exposed below the ceiling. In ceiling concealed units, the filter is positioned right before the cooling coil.
Does the mini-split condenser unit have a filter too?
Some may wonder whether the outside condenser unit of a mini-split air conditioner has air filters too, and the answer is no.
At most, the condenser unit will have a steel mesh at the back of it to protect the condenser coil from any damage. Surprisingly, outdoor air is not as dusty as indoor air, hence, the condenser does not require an air filter.
How to access the filters of your home wall-mounted mini-split AC
Your home mini-split air conditioner needs regular maintenance, and this includes cleaning the air filters after some time, as dirt accumulates in the unit.
You need to know how to access the filters to clean them safely. Since they are located at the front of the indoor air handler, you can pull open the front cover using both hands, which should be positioned in the bottom left and right corners of the cover.
This will allow you to lift the front cover off by detaching the corners first.
Can mini-split filters purify the air and filter pollutants like smoke?
With the ability of trapping dirt and dust, some may wonder if their indoor air is being purified too. Mini-split air filters can purify the air to a certain extent, but not as well as an actual air purifier can.
Purifying air involves eliminating dust and odours and since some filters (green tea, carbon filters, or PM2.5) are much finer than basic plastic mesh filters, they can eliminate some odour from the space, including smoke.