Air Conditioner Maintenance 101

Split system Air Conditioner Maintenance

Modern split system air conditioner maintenance is virtually nil. When you’re looking at buying a system the servicing or ongoing costs are virtually nil. It’s not something you should factor into your decision, assuming you buy a quality brand. There is no oil changes or services required if you clean your filters regularly. If yours will be installed in an average home even with a half dozen kids the most you’ll need to do is clean the head filters twice a year. Cleaning the head filters is very easy, simply lift the front cover, remove them by sliding up, and hose them out the back. Allow to dry and re – insert.  Job done. Time elapsed : 3 minutes.

Cleaning your own filters

Air conditioner maintenance requires very little skill. You could probably teach your teenager to do it with four to five months of solid practice. Simply lift the lid of the head unit inside, remove the (usually two) slide in filters with mesh showing. Take them outside and hose them from the dirt side out. You’ll see the dirt and gunk has all collected on the one side of the filter. Hose form the other side through the filter removing the gunk. Example :  you’re not trying to force all the gunk through the filter, simply dislodging it from sitting where it is on the dirty side.


Some people then use soap, vinegar or boiling water to sanitize the mesh further. In my opinion this is not necessary. Keeping a reasonably clean area does more for air conditioner longevity than regular cleaning of the inside. The logic behind  that being : if there’s not much dust, dirt or contaminants clogging up the room you have air conditioned, then there’s very little gunk in the air to get trapped in the first place. Still, if you’re a total germ-a-phobe go right ahead. Soak them filters in alcohol and wrap a surgical mask around your face while you’re asleep. What you do in your own home is none of my business.

Recommended once yearly maintenance

The author would suggest you run the split system regularly, even when it’s not required. Similar to a car engine, you’ll increase the life of your system by turning it on once in a while to run for ten minutes and get the gas, lubricants and air flowing around the moving parts to keep them in good working order. Good air conditioner maintenance takes very little effort : run your system on reverse cycle at least once every winter, to get everything flowing in the opposite direction. If you only use it on cooling for 3 summers in a row, never turning it on heating in winter, the reversing valve can sometimes stick and prevent it ever being run on reverse. So do your system a favour : Run it at least 2 hours on warming every winter at least once.


air conditioner maintenance filter illustration
generic AC filter cover open air conditioner maintenance
air conditioner maintenance causes of problems
gecko killer of ac units air conditioner maintenance
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Long Term Split System Air Conditioner Maintenance


After 5 years you could look at getting the machine stripped down on the wall, which usually only costs around $200 at the most. This involves removing the plastic housing, the filters, fan roller and all moving parts, giving them a thorough clean and rebuilding the unit. The only time you’d need to get any machine stripped and cleaned prior to the five year mark is if you live in a very dusty environment, or the unit is being used in a commercial setting. Even in a commercial setting, if the system is only cooling a clean office area, any more maintenance than what I have described here is unnecessary.

Bare Minimum Manitenence

You could possibly get someone to check the gas levels regularly, but you could do it yourself just as easily.


For too many years these weakling runts of the building trades got away with robbing the Australian public. Now men like smerff deliver their services better, cheaper and faster than they ever could.  They are attempting all manner of sabotage and underhanded tactics to bring me down. I will never give it to such a bunch of halfwit thieves, and will continue to deliver the best split system installation at the best prices as long as I can for the Australian public. The simple fact is that the market has spoken. Any refrigeration companies larger than mine, been around longer than mine are there because they delivered a good service at a decent price. The frigys that have been doing this 10 years and still only one ute one man with a boy or working for wages are simply pissant whingers who couldn’t organise a piss – up in a brothel. They are the ones sooking so loudly, hoping their mum comes to collect them soon.

Don’t worry about losing a little bit of precious r410, there’s enough in these systems for a 20m pipe run so there’s plenty to go around. 


Reverse cycle air conditioners are the most energy efficient way to warm a home in winter anyway, so don’t be afraid to run it for those really cold few weeks we get in Brisbane, usually around June July. If you had natural gas or a wood fire you could possibly do it cheaper, but nothing is as quiet or instant as a remote control set and forget reverse cycle split system air conditioner.