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How To Clean Mini Split Filter

How To Clean Mini Split Filter

Jon Hubal
8 minute read

As a homeowner, maintaining your mini split air conditioning unit is important to keep it running efficiently and to avoid costly repairs down the road. Cleaning the mini split filter is one of the most essential maintenance tasks you can perform to ensure peak performance. Clogged, dirty filters reduce airflow and efficiency, causing the unit to work harder and reducing its lifespan. Replacing or cleaning mini split filters every 1-3 months, depending on use, is recommended. If you notice your mini split running frequently or not cooling as well, it's a good indication it's time to check the filters. Cleaning mini split filters is an easy DIY task that only requires a few basic steps and materials to complete. Following the proper cleaning technique will have your mini split running like new again in no time.

Locate Your Mini Split Filter

To properly clean your mini split filter, follow these steps:

  1. Locate your mini split filter. The filter is typically found behind the front grill of the indoor unit. You may need to remove some screws or a panel to access it.

  2. Turn off the power to your mini-split system before removing the filter. For safety, turn off the breaker controlling the unit.

  3. Remove the dirty filter and clean it or replace it if necessary. Most mini-split filters can be reused after cleaning with a vacuum, damp cloth, or compressed air to remove built-up dust and debris. For severely clogged filters, replacement may be required for maximum efficiency.

  4. If cleaning the filter, allow it to dry completely before reinstalling. A wet filter can damage the mini-split components.

  5. Put the filter back in place with the airflow arrow pointing toward the indoor unit. Secure any panels or grills you removed to access the filter.

  6. Turn the power back on and test your mini-split to ensure proper operation before leaving the area.

Turn Off the Power to Your Mini Split System

To properly clean your mini split filter, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power to your mini-split system at the breaker. This will cut electrical power to your outdoor unit and indoor air handler to avoid the risk of electric shock.

  2. Locate your indoor air filter. This is typically behind a removable grill or panel on your indoor air handler. Consult your owner's manual for the specific location and removal process for your model.

  3. Remove the dirty air filter and clean or replace it. If reusable, take the filter outside and blow away dust with an air duster can or rinse with water. Let completely air dry before reinstalling. For disposable filters, simply replace them.

  4. Install the clean or new air filter with the airflow arrow pointing in the direction of the airflow. Make sure the filter is fully seated in the proper position to avoid air leaks or blockages.

  5. Turn the power back on to your mini split system at the breaker.

  6. Run the system for a few minutes to circulate the air and ensure regular operation.

Remove the Filter Cover or Grille

To access the filter in your mini split unit, you must first remove the filter cover or grille. Locate the filter cover, which is typically found on one of the sides or behind the front panel of the indoor unit.

Remove Filter Cover

  1. Turn off the power to your mini split unit at the breaker box to avoid electric shock.

  2. Use a screwdriver to loosen any securing screws around the edges of the filter cover or grille. Some units may have clips or tabs instead of screws - pry these off carefully with a flathead screwdriver.

  3. Grasp the filter cover or grille and gently lift it away from the unit to remove it. Place it aside.

  4. Have a replacement filter on hand before removing the used filter. Note the size and type of your mini split filter for proper replacement. Pleated or electrostatic filters are recommended for maximum efficiency.

  5. Slide out the old filter and discard it. Do not reuse old filters.

  6. Slide the new filter into place with the arrow pointing in the direction of the airflow.

  7. Replace the filter cover or grille and secure all screws or clips to hold it in place.

  8. Restore power to the unit at the breaker box.

  9. Test your mini split to ensure proper operation and that no air is escaping around the new filter. Tighten or adjust as needed.

Remove the Actual Mini Split Filter

To remove the actual mini-split filter, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the mini split unit and disconnect the power source. Allow the unit to cool completely if it was recently running. Safety is the top priority when performing any maintenance on the mini-split system.

  2. Locate the filter access panel on your indoor mini-split unit. This will typically be on the side, bottom, or back of the unit. The panel may be secured in place with screws, clips, or tabs. Remove the securing mechanism to gain access to the filter.

  3. Pull out the old filter. Most mini mini-splits are fitted into a track or frame inside the unit. Grasp the exposed edge or end of the filter and slide it out of the track. Apply firm and even pressure to avoid tearing the filter.

  4. Inspect the filter tracks and surrounding area for any dirt or debris and vacuum or wipe clean as needed. Ensuring the tracks are clear will allow for the proper installation and sealing of the new filter.

  5. Obtain a replacement filter that is specifically designed for your make and model of a mini-split system. The filter type and size should be printed on the existing filter or specified in the owner's manual. Using an improperly sized or rated filter can impact the performance and efficiency of the unit.

  6. Install the new filter with the airflow direction arrow pointing toward the blower fan. Slide the filter into the track until it is even and secure in place.

  7. Put the filter access panel back on, securing it in place. Restore power to the mini split unit.

  8. Run the mini split system and check for any air leaks around the filter access panel to ensure it is properly sealed and the new filter is installed correctly before regular use.

Clean or Replace the Filter

The filter in your mini-split system should be cleaned or replaced regularly to maintain efficiency. To clean or replace the filter:

  1. Turn off the power to your mini-split system at the breaker. This will ensure the unit does not turn on accidentally during the filter cleaning or replacement process.

  2. Locate your filter access panel. This will typically be on one side or end of the indoor air handler unit. Remove the access panel to access the filter.

  3. Inspect the filter. If the filter looks excessively dirty or has debris buildup, it should be replaced. As a general rule of thumb, disposable filters should be replaced every 1-3 months. Permanent, washable filters can typically be reused for 6-12 months.

  4. Remove the old filter by pulling it out of the filter slot. Have the new filter ready to install immediately.

  5. Install the new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow. The filter should slide easily into place.

  6. Put the access panel back on, turn the power back on, and test your system to ensure the new filter is properly installed and there are no issues.

  7. For washable filters, take the filter outside and spray it off with a hose to remove built-up dirt and debris. Allow it to air dry completely before reinstalling.

mini split filter


Now that you have completed this step-by-step process for cleaning your mini-split filter, your system should be running much more efficiently. By removing built-up dirt and debris, you have ensured optimal airflow and prevented overworking the unit. While this routine maintenance only takes about 15-30 minutes of your time every 3-6 months, the benefits to your energy usage and mini-split lifespan are substantial. Keep your filter cleaning schedule consistent, and be sure to replace the filter every 12-24 months for the best performance. By properly caring for your mini split system, you can enjoy cool and comfortable temperatures in your home for many years to come.

More Mini Split Knowledge

Explore an abundance of mini-split knowledge using our extensive online references. Immerse yourself in a diverse collection of enlightening blog articles that span various topics. Assess the top mini split models for 2023 and gauge their suitability for your requirements. Dive into our comprehensive guide on mini-split sizing to gain valuable insights into the process. Empower yourself with the expertise to seamlessly set up your DIY mini-split system. Enhance your comprehension of mini-splits and take charge of your indoor climate with certainty.

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