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What Does Filter Reset Mean on an Air Conditioner?

We use different appliances on a daily basis to make our lives easier and comfortable – these appliances have improved our standards of living to such an extent that it is difficult to imagine our lives without them. The air conditioner is one such appliance that we use for our comfort. 

Therefore, it’s necessary that we know to maintain it for prolonged usage.

What does filter reset mean on an air conditioner?

If the filter reset lights on your air conditioner is on, it indicates that your filter requires maintenance which could be cleaning or replacement. There are two conditions that trigger the filter reset – either the duration of operating time has been exceeded or the filter is clogged by dust.

The filter reset light on your air conditioner is a diagnostic indicator to notify you that the air conditioner’s filters need maintenance. A filter that is not functioning as intended could result in an inadequate delivery of air into the room and low air quality. 

Another reason why the filter light is on could be due to reaching the limit of operating time – some air conditioner manufacturers have set a bound on the total operating time, which is 250 hours on average. 

This means that after your air conditioner has run for that amount of time, the air conditioner needs maintenance to continue operating again. It is not a matter to neglect because clogged air filters can be problematic and affect the overall performance of the air conditioner.

Clogged or dirty filters would result in a poor air quality because that would give rise to mold growth. 

When air will try to pass by, they will be in contact with the dust, dirt and mold accumulated in the filter and in turn could cause allergies and other health complications – especially if there is an infant in the house. 

Besides the health concerns, a clogged air filter also puts stress on your energy usage and utility bills. Since the filter is clogged, it gets increasingly difficult for air to pass through and thus the air conditioner has to expend more energy to drive the air through the filters.

The energy consumption due to dirty air filters could jump as high as 15%. As a result, you will be receiving less volume of air from the air conditioner while using more power.

As stated previously, the energy consumption of the air conditioner increases due to dirty filters, but another severe consequence of clogged filters is the over-stressed motors. 

Since the blower receives resistance from the filter while trying to deliver air through the filters, it will do more work and thus get overheated. Overheating is a major problem in electronic appliances because it causes the appliance to expire sooner and malfunctions more often.

And if the filter has not been cleaned in a very long time, the dust can collect to become so thick that it will not allow any air to pass through. At this stage, the blower cannot flow the cool air from the evaporator coil and thus the cold air remains stuck in that confined space. 

Without any way to remove the cold air, the temperature reaches a point where the refrigerant itself begins to freeze and reaches a point where it no longer flows through the coils.

What does resetting an air conditioner filter do?

Almost all air conditioners have the reset filter light in them which indicates whether the air conditioner has serviced for 250 hours or if the air filters are clogged. In any case, you need to reset the air conditioner filter in order to resume using the air conditioner again

This can be done after servicing your air conditioner after 250 hours if it had any visible issues or malfunctions, or if it simply had clogged air filters – then that issue can be easily dealt with by cleaning the filters. 

Once you cleaned the filters and replaced them back into the air conditioner, you need to press the “reset filter” button on the air conditioner to turn off the LED light. This would reset the counter on the air conditioner and start the air conditioner from scratch. 

However, do not simply reset the air conditioner without checking the filters, otherwise this same issue will persist and reduce the air conditioner’s performance.

How long does it take for an AC filter unit to reset?

How long it takes to reset an AC filter unit does not have a definite time-span because there are several parts to this process and it could range from 5 minutes to an hour as well

In case your AC has crossed 250 hours of operating time, it only needs 5 minutes to reset the filter unit – however, if your filter is clogged, it would need some time to clean it and reset the filter unit. 

Cleaning the filter has several parts in it – first you need to remove the AC frame and then retrieve the filters, then take them to a spot to wash them, let them dry properly and finally place them back into the AC and put the frame back on. 

The time taken to reset a filter unit depends on all of these activities, if they can be done within 30 minutes – you can press the filter reset button to get your AC back to running.

How do I reset my AC filter after changing the filter?

There are several steps to properly reset the AC filter after you have cleaned the filters, the step has been elaborately described below:

Check the cause of reset filter light:

Once you encounter the reset filter light, you need to identify the cause of the light turning on – it could either be due to exceeding the operating time or due to dust clogs. 

You can determine the reason by opening the front frame and taking out the filters – in most cases, the filters would be dusty and moldy which is the reason for the reset filter lights.

However, if that is not the case – then move to step 3.

Clean the filter:

If the filter was found dusty and clogged with dirt, you can either clean it or replace it. It is suggested to clean the filter since it is the most cost effective and easy process to do. 

If the filter has been clogged severely and would need extensive cleaning to get rid of the clog – then it is a better option to purchase a replacement. 

It is suggested that you clean the filter every 3 months to prevent the filter from clogging – since filters are cleanable, cleaning them every 3 months will increase their longevity and you would not need to buy any replacement.

Replace and reset the filter lights:

After you have cleaned the filters or if the filters weren’t clogged at all – you can proceed to resetting the filter lights. This can be done by pressing the filter reset button located on the AC, you can use the manual to find where it is and after 3 seconds, the filter will be reset.

How to clean the filter on the air conditioner?

The AC filter can be cleaned in the following ways:

Turn off the AC and remove the filters:

To clean the filters, you need to turn off the AC and make sure no air is coming out of the unit. Afterwards, remove the frame off the AC and take out all the filters present in the AC.

Vacuum to remove the dust:

Use a vacuum pump to clean the insides of the AC to remove the sitting dust and then proceed to vacuum the filter as well. If the dust is dry, the vacuum can suck most of the dust off the filter. 

However, if the dust is damp and has stuck to the filters, vacuuming won’t work and you would need to rely on washing with water. 

Wash and rinse the filter:

Take the filters to a location where you can wash them and use a shower to clean the filters. Spraying the water with enough force would be sufficient to clean the dirt off the filter, if that’s not possible – wash it with warm water and some vinegar. 

Dry the filter and replace it back:

Once the filters have been washed, let it dry for a couple of hours and after they have dried properly – replace them back into their original locations. 

Turn on the air conditioner to check whether the air can correctly flow out to ensure that the clog has been properly cleaned.

Final Thoughts 

Your air conditioner’s filter reset light will be on if it needs maintenance, which could include cleaning or replacement.  Usually there are two circumstances that cause the filter reset lights to turn on: either the operating period of the AC has expired, or the filter is clogged with dust.