What Does Filter Reset Mean On An Air Conditioner?

Window air conditioner suck air from externally environment and deliver it to the room after contact with the evaporator coils and going through filtration process lastly. The filter thereby has to be cleaned after definite intervals of time or after reaching conditions after which it cannot operate effectively. At times a filter reset light may turn on. What is the purpose of filter reset light? How to get rid of it? Lets cover that and solution to fix it.

Filter Reset on your window air conditioner indicates that your filter needs maintenance i.e. cleaning or replacement. In some units it is turned on when the filter is dirty and needs cleaning while in other it may be turned on after definite intervals of time generally about 250 hours of operating time.

The exact way you resolve the problem of filter reset in order to turn the light off depends on the model of your air conditioner. However the overall process of doing it is almost same in nature.

Sometimes even with in weeks of the purchase you may see the filter reset light on probably because the operating time for the indicator is up and it is telling you to check the filter. In that case if your extract the filter you will see it clean. However I recommend that you do not simply ignore it to prevent hurting your air conditioner and especially yourself by inhaling low quality air.

What Does Filter Reset Mean On an Air Conditioner?

The filter reset light turned on is actually an indicator by the air conditioner that it is time that the air filter has to be changed to maintain the adequate delivery of air. Resetting the filter means it has to be brought back to the initial condition to sustain the delivery of high quality air at adequate flow rate.

The time for the indication of changing/cleaning the filter in different brands of air conditioners and their models is different.

For example for Frigidaire window air conditioners in most of the models the standard time for changing the air conditioner filter is 250 hours of operating time. This mean after every 250 hours the unit will turn the filter reset light ON.

In many air conditioner the filter reset is initiated due to the suction pressure of the blower. Due to blockage of air during the flow through filter there is a change in suction pressure that results in the board reset and air conditioner turns its clean filter or filter reset light ON.

Why You Should Maintain Your Air Conditioner Filter?

The air conditioner delivers air at suitable temperature and humidity level to make the conditions in your house, apartment or room comfortable. The air is extracted from outside and delivered to the living space after contact with the condenser and evaporator coils.

This means that the only thing that is stopping the bad quality air with dust particles and debris from coming in to your living space is filter. Some window air conditioner may have multiple filter due to this purpose. The consequences of a filthy and clogged filter are worrisome on you and your air conditioner.

Poor Quality Air

One role of air conditioner despite heating or cooling is to condition other environment variables like humidity and dust. As a result of filthy filter with time mold and other harmful particles settle on it. The air thereby delivered by the air conditioner becomes unhealthy, humid and poor in quality after coming in contact with it.

Especially if you have a pet or smoker in your home you will have to maintain(clean) your air conditioner filter earlier than usual to prevent from allergies and throat rash.

Poor Air conditioning (In terms of poor air quality) may result in respiratory disorder, viral infections and deadly Legionnaires Disease.

Legionnaires disease as a result of poor air conditioning can affect lungs and cause infection in wounds and even the heart.

Higher Energy Consumption

As a result of a clogged filter the effort put up by the blower of window air conditioner will be higher compared to usual. This will require more energy consumption by the air conditioner compared to usual to drive the blower. Most window air conditioner operate most time of the day in their season . This will cause the electricity bill to go up. The Department of Energy claims that a clogged filter could result in the increment of the consumed energy by 15%. This will reduce the efficiency as well as effectiveness of your air conditioner.

Over-Heating of Air Conditioner

Blower of an air conditioner delivers cool air into the living space. However when the filter is clogged more effort is required by the blower to try to deliver the air at the same flow rate. The increased effort from usual for long operating hours will result in over-heating of your air conditioner. As a result your air conditioner will expire much sooner than expected.

Refrigerant Frozen in Evaporator Coils

Eventually, if neglected, air filter will reach the stage of clogging where it cannot deliver enough flow rate of air to extract appropriate cooling from the evaporator coil. As a result the refrigerant inside the evaporator coils will freeze and the regulation of refrigerant through refrigerant coils will stop.

Deprived Cooling Ability

The ability to cool the room by the air conditioner directly depends on the delivery of cool air at a suitable flow rate to the living space. Due to inadequate delivery of air as a result of clogged filter, there will be different temperature zones developed at different locations of the living space. This is highly undesirable and defeats the purpose of the air conditioner i.e. to provide comparability.

How to Resolve Filter Reset Light?-The Right Way

Step 1: Checking Your Filter

Photo by Josh Bennett

Firstly when you see the filter reset light ON you have got to look the filter. It means either the operating hours decided by the air conditioner company are complete or the suction pressure has been dropped (due to clogging of filter). However whichever of the above cases, pop the front lid off of your air conditioner. Depending upon the make and model of the air conditioner it may be a bit different. In general thou they keep it conveniently doable so that the filter is accessible easily.

Open the front grill, take the filter out and examine it. In most cases the filter will be dirty/dusty/moldy. In case it is clean then there might be some other problem or simply because the recommended filter check time period is completed that is indicated by the air conditioner company according to model and capacity.

Step 2: Cleaning/Replacing Your Filter

After filter has been extracted from the air conditioner unit you have two options either to clean it or replace it. Most of the air conditioner unit are built to sustain with minimum maintenance hence the filter in them will be reusable. However in case it is not reusable which is rare and the filter is clogged you should replace it. HVAC specialists recommend that it is better to use replaceable filters for air conditioner that are replaced in 3 months or so.

In most cases though, the filter is reusable and you can simply clean the filter and reuse it. For cleaning you could follow the following steps:

  1. Vacuum clean the air conditioner thoroughly to extract most of the dust and dirt.
  2. Prepare a solution to wash the filter. You could use dish washing liquid +water (few drops of dish washing liquid), citric acid + water (1:32), vinegar + water (1:1) or simply detergent in water to do so. Do it delicately to prevent damage.
  3. Allow the filter to dry.
  4. Refit the filter as it was fitted earlier.

Step 3: Resolving The Filter Reset Light

After the filter is refitted as earlier now press the filter reset light button for 3 seconds or simply click it to filter reset the air conditioner. In some air conditioners like LG window AC, the filter reset is performed by pressing the arrow button at once. It’s usually as simple as that. If you still can’t find the function you could see its location on your AC Manual.

Filter Reset LG
Filter Reset on LG Window AC by Clicking Two Arrows at Once
Frigidaire Air Conditioner Filter Reset