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Some air conditioners, for example Mitsubishi heavy industries SRK20ZJ-S have "self clean" and "allergen clean" functions. First takes 2 hours to complete, latter 1.5 hours.

How often should they be used? I understand this depends, but roughly - once per day/week/month?

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Does the manual say anything about how often? – Steven May 29 '13 at 16:18
@Steven - The manual doesn't say anything about periodic use of the allergen clear and about the self-clean says "CLEAN operation should be run after AUTO, COOL and DRY operation to remove the moisture from inside the indoor unit and control the growth of mold and bacteria". – Compro01 May 29 '13 at 17:21
Yes, the manual says nothing. Self clean is rather long operation, so I'm not sure if it should be performed after each COOL, DRY cycle. – Roman May 30 '13 at 7:10

In lieu of any manufacture recommendations, I would suggest that you use the self-clean method whenever you notice a smell coming from the unit. As a related tip, if you ever notice the A/C in your car smelling bad, run it on max cool and max fan for 20minutes as this kills most of the mold and bacteria that is causing the smell; my guess is that this 2hour cycle does something similar.

I'm really not sure what the allergen clean might do but maybe run if a couple times a year.

It's probably worth noting that most A/C units don't have these functions and work fine for many years; it might be more of a marketing gimmick than anything else.

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Hi Steven. Here I was talking about home A/C but not car A/C. Manual says that "allergen clean" is special set of cool/heat/dry operations, 1.5 hours long. But it says nothing when it should be run. – Roman May 30 '13 at 7:14
It sounds like "allergen clean" means "try to discourage growth of mold in the A/C." – keshlam Jun 8 '14 at 16:22

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