DIY: 5 Steps to Clean Your Ductless Mini-Split Air Filters with Pictures

A ductless mini-split heating and air conditioner can be an elegant solution to heat or cool a defined space. Because there are no air ducts to distribute the air, these types of HVAC systems are perfect for heating or cooling an add-on room, an upstairs room that is too warm in the summer, a loft, or even a garage. But even these compact systems need their own maintenance to keep them in good working order. One of the top maintenance tasks you can easily do yourself is to clean the air filters.

Ductless Carrier HVAC Mini-Split System Remote Control

Turn off the system first for safety.

Step 1: Turn off the unit.

Mini-split units like this Carrier Infinity ductless unit often come with a remote control where you can adjust the thermostat. Pick a day when turning off your system for a little while won’t affect your comfort. Turn the system off first as a safety concern.

Step 2: Locate the blower unit mounted on the wall and open it.

The blower unit or “head unit” contains the evaporator coil and air handler all in one. Find the bottom edge of the unit cover and lift up gently to open the unit. Inside you’ll see two plastic air filters sitting on top of the evaporator coil. This is where you can see how much dust built up you have and if the filters need cleaning.

Opening the blower unit for a Carrier Mini-Split HVAC System

Open the blower unit by gently lifting up from the bottom edge.

Ductless HVAC unit blower unit opened to access the air filters

This is what the inside of the blower unit looks like before the air filters are removed.

Step 3: Gently slide out the air filters.

The plastic air filters are held in place with grooved channels on each side. By pushing from the bottom up and out, it will release the filter from the track and allow you to gently remove it. Take care not to shake dust from the filter all over that you will have to clean later. Because the unit is switched off, you can leave the head unit open.

Gently push up and out to remove the air filters for cleaning.

Gently push up and out to remove the air filters for cleaning.

Step 4: Clean the filters.

Using a gentle spray from your kitchen sink’s spray nozzle, you can quickly spray out all the dust/debris that the air filters have picked up in just a few minutes. Then, you can let them drain on your counter until they are dry. Alternately, you can use a vacuum with the brush attachment to lift all the dust that has gathered there. The only drawback to using a vacuum is if the suction is too high which could damage or tear the air filter itself. The brush attachment usually prevents this.

Spray clean or gently vacuum the filters to remove dust and debris.

Spray clean or gently vacuum the filters to remove dust and debris.

After cleaning the HVAC ductless air filter, let it dry.

After cleaning the HVAC ductless air filter, let it dry.

Step 5: Reinstall the filters and turn your system on.

After your filters are dry, you can reinstall them. Look for the channels on the sides within the blower unit so you can slide those filters back to their original location, up and behind the latch to secure them. Then, close up the cover to the blower unit. Now you’re ready to turn your ductless HVAC unit back on.

Slide the air filters back in along the side channels.

Slide the air filters back in along the side channels.

HVAC ductless unit - set the filter behind the plastic tabs

Re-install the air filter and be sure it sits behind those bottom tabs that keep it in place.

We Can Help

How often you should clean your filters will vary depending on each household. Some will need it every month and some can go several months before cleaning them out. It’s pretty simple to pop open the hood and look at your filters from time to time to see if they are in need of a quick cleanout. When filters remain clogged for long periods of time, it can shorten the life of the system itself. Call Kenny and Rob from Terry’s A/C and Heating at 281-495-7830 or text us at 281-536-4981 to get on our schedule. We can help you handle routine maintenance or a repair on your system to keep your home or office at the perfect temperature all year round. We serve Southwest Houston, Texas and the surrounding communities of Rosenberg, Richmond, Katy, Fulshear, Sugar Land, Memorial, Bellaire and more. We aim to be your indoor comfort concierge.