Many of us depend on air conditioning, day to day to access cool air to keep us cool in extremely hot conditions.
It keeps a room at the optimum temperature for human function and makes it more comfortable to stay indoors for prolonged periods.
However, as with any household appliance, occasionally there are maintenance problems that need to be solved in order to maintain proper function and ensure that you can continue to get the cool air that you depend on daily.
One such problem that commonly plagues air conditioning users is the ‘Filter reset’.
This is a message that commonly shows up on AC displays, and many have no idea what it means, how it affects them, and how they can resolve it.
That’s likely why you’re here right now, right? Don’t worry, we have all of the answers you need right here.
Simply read on to find out what the ‘Filter Reset’ message on your AC means and how you can resolve it and get back to your cool air!
What Does ‘Filter Reset’ Mean On An Air Conditioner?
The ‘Filter Reset’ function on an air conditioning unit is a warning that is sent out to the user. It notifies them of a problem with the filter that can be found within the air conditioning unit itself. The filter needs to be reset likely for one of two reasons.
Either it needs to be fully cleaned, to remove dust, dirt, or other matter from it, or it needs to be replaced entirely.
The length of time that an air conditioner can go without a filter reset will vary depending on the model. Some require more frequent maintenance than others.
Resetting is the process of restoring the filter so that it works more effectively. It is important to reset the filter. Otherwise, the air conditioning may not work properly. Resetting the unit will enable it to return to its original state. You may also need to reset the unit after there has been a power cut.
What Is A Filter In An Air Conditioner?
The filter in an air conditioner performs a vital function that you may not otherwise be aware of. Most air conditioners take air from the environment and filter it through the air conditioner itself, and process it via cooling coils.
This process causes the air to be ‘cleaned’ and cooled down, ready to be pumped back out again.
Thus, the standard filter found within an air conditioner performs a very vital function that it cannot do without.
Filters in air conditioners are made to catch dust and other matter in the air so that it does not get pumped back into the room after the air has been cooled down.
What Do You Do If ‘Filter Reset’ Is Showing on Your Air Conditioner?
If the ‘Filter Reset’ indicator is illuminated on your air conditioning unit, it will most likely mean that you need to clean the filter.
Most air conditioning units operate with internal clocks that take note of how long they have been operational.
Once an air conditioning unit has been powered on for an excess of 250 hours, then the ‘Filter Reset’ light will illuminate automatically. By the 250th hour, it will have accumulated a fair amount of dirt or dust.
Simply remove the filter carefully from the air conditioning unit, and brush away all of the excess dirt and dust that has built up inside of it.
Take care when doing this, as many air conditioning filters are very thin, and can easily be damaged.
Once you have cleaned out your air conditioning filter, simply place it back into the unit, and then press the button closest to the ‘Reset Filter’ light on the unit.
This will cause the warning to go away and will restart the 250-hour timer so that it is ready to warn you again when problems arise or it reaches the 250-hour mark.
It is also possible that the ‘Filter Reset’ light is illuminated because your air conditioning filter is irreparably damaged. If so, simply remove it and replace it with a brand new filter that is compatible with your air conditioning unit.
Place that new filter in and press the button closest to the ‘Filter Reset’ light to reset the timer and get your air conditioner back to full functionality.
How Do You Know If Your Air Conditioner Needs a New Filter?
Occasionally, the filter on your air conditioner might become damaged and not cause the ‘Filter Reset’ light to become illuminated.
In these cases, there are a few things that you can look out for to know when your air conditioner needs a new filter.
Check to see if your air conditioner is providing you with the right air temperature. Is the air from your conditioner not cold enough?
This could be due to the filter not functioning properly, which means that the unit cannot process the air effectively in order to cool it down.
You might also notice that the air conditioner unit itself has become incredibly hot.
Try feeling towards the back end of the unit, and note whether it feels hotter than usual. If it does, it is likely because the filter is not working effectively, and the unit is having trouble processing the air that is fed into it.
If you are prone to allergies, then you might also notice that your symptoms might be worsening, as your air conditioner cannot effectively draw out the allergens from your air, which causes your symptoms to worsen.
Finally, you might also notice significant buildups of dust towards the vents which should not usually happen. Dust should not usually gather around the vents, as it is usually collected around the filter.
This is a sign that the filter is not gathering dust effectively, or it is simply full of dust.
What Would Happen If You Didn’t Change the Filter on Your Air Conditioner?
If you don’t change the filter on your air conditioning unit, then you may find that the air conditioning begins to decline massively in quality.
If your air conditioner helps you to avoid allergens, such as dust, then you may notice that your allergy symptoms might worsen. This is because the filter is not able to capture them to keep them from being pumped back out into your room.
This can be catastrophic for some and is a great reason why the filter should be changed as soon as possible.
The quality of the air conditioning process will also be hampered by not changing the filter on your air conditioner.
Your air conditioner would not be able to produce high-quality air that has been properly filtered, and thus the air may be warmer than you would like it to be.
Finally, the most catastrophic result of not changing your air conditioner filter is the risk of long-term damage to your wider unit.
As well as keeping contaminants and dust from being pumped back into your room, the filter also helps to keep the mechanism of your air conditioner from being clogged by dust.
If dust is allowed to enter your air conditioning unit, then you will find that it clogs up the motors and valves that allow it to function fully.
How Often Should You Replace The Filter in Your Air Conditioning?
Generally, air conditioners tend to warn you that your filter needs maintenance after every 250 hours of operation. Thus, you should aim to change it after every second ‘Filter Reset’ warning, to ensure that your unit works optimally.
Otherwise, you should aim to be replacing the filter in your air conditioning around every 90 days. This is so that you can ensure that your air conditioner is constantly filtering out allergens and contaminants from your space to keep you comfortable.
Do All Air Conditioner Units Need Filters?
No. Not every air conditioning system requires a filter to work properly. Not all air conditioner units themselves come with filters as standard, and many operate entirely without them while still helping to keep contaminants out of the air.
If an air conditioning unit does accept filters, then you should definitely aim to install one.
Without an effective filter in your air conditioning unit, you may incur irreparable damage that can be very costly to repair. This means that you will have to spend far more on maintenance than you would if you were to simply replace or clean out the filters in your air conditioner.
Why Should You Clean the Filter?
You can experience lots of benefits by ensuring that your air conditioner is cleaned regularly.
- You will be given a higher indoor air quality. A filter that has been clogged will not perform as well as one that is nice and clean.
- The air conditioning will likely last for longer. Cleaning prevents dirt from blocking the system, which could damage the inner machinery. This means that you do not have to worry about spending money on brand new air conditioning.
- You will have a wider control of the temperature. This will be essential in the summer months.
How Can I Clean the Filter?
Though instructions will vary between different air conditioner models, here are some general guidelines:
- Ensure that the air conditioning has been turned off. Otherwise, when you take the filter out, the mechanics of the air conditioner will be vulnerable.
- Remove the filter. In some cases, it may need to be unscrewed. If you are unsure of how to remove the filter, you may want to read the instructions for the specific model.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove most of the debris. This is a really effective way of cleaning, as it prevents lint from getting everywhere. Get rid of any remaining dirt with a cloth.
- Feel free to rinse the filter under a tap. The water will get rid of the persistent dirt. Leave the filter to dry before replacing it.
If you have a more advanced air conditioner, there may even be a feature that allows the unit to clean itself. Some are built with automatic cleaning functions, which makes life much easier.
However, you should bear in mind that thorough cleaning is still advised. As a result, you may want to clean the filter by hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Clean An Air Conditioner Filter?
In order to clean the filter on your air conditioner, all you need to do is lightly brush it down, to remove packed-in dust. As well as this, you might also want to dip it into lukewarm water, in order to give it a deep clean.
However, you will want to ensure that your water is not too hot, as that may cause damage to the filter itself. Also, make sure to allow the filter to dry off after cleaning before you place it back into your air conditioning unit. For more information on this, check the previous section.
How Often Should AC Filters Be Cleaned?
You should generally aim to clean the filter in your air conditioning unit as regularly as possible. Try to clean it around every month or so, so that you can remove dust and dirt build ups quickly, to allow the filter to operate for far longer, and to get you better results.
You should also be sure to clean your air conditioning filter every time the ‘Filter Reset’ light comes on, as that is a great reminder to take advantage of!
How Do I Know If My AC Filter Is Dirty?
To determine whether your air conditioning filter is dirty, without removing it, you can hang a white sheet near one of the vents for about an hour of operation time.
Check the sheet after that hour, to see if it has taken on a gray color. If it has, that means that the filter is very dirty, and needs cleaning or replacing.
To Finish Up
The filter clearly plays a vital role in the continuing functioning of your air conditioning unit. Without effective filtration, your air could be pumped full of contaminants and allergens that can make some spaces very uncomfortable for people with allergies.
As well as this, filters help to ensure that an air conditioner can keep your air nice and comfortably cool, as they help to prevent dirt and dust from leaking through into the inner workings of your unit, which can incur bad damage that could cost you lots.
Your air conditioning unit will let you know when your filter needs replacing or maintaining via the built-in display on the unit that will communicate important maintenance information to you.
If your ‘Filter Reset’ light is showing, simply clean or replace the filter, and then press the associated button to turn the warning off!