Clean filters are certainly important to the performance of your air conditioner, however, just cleaning the filters alone is not sufficient.
When it comes to ducted air conditioners, regular filter cleaning is the best thing you can do because the filters on a ducted system are cloth filters which means they are very effective. Because these filters are so effective, if you clean them monthly then you can avoid the cost associated with having to professionally clean the coils.
However, with split air conditioners, box or window air conditioners and portable air conditioners, the filters on these unit are totally inadequate as the filters are mesh filters with openings between the mesh of 1 mm to 2 mm in diameter which allow the dirt particle to pass straight through into the coil and onto the fan blades.
Until such time as lint builds up on these types of filters, for all intents and purpose they are almost useless so the reality is that it is not prudent to keep your filter spotless clean. In our experience, depending on the location of your air conditioner, we suggest the filters only be cleaned quarterly and then once a year you should have your air conditioner professionally washed which will bring your unit back to new again.
This process is unavoidable as the bacteria that grows within the internal component of your air conditioner (evaporator or header unit) can be quite scary with the worst being “BLACK MOLD”. Sludge will build up within your air conditioner which results in lack of air flow, ineffective performance, wasted energy costs not to mention bad smells and an unhealthy environment.