Everyone in this part of the world uses the aircond daily, but I doubt anyone knows what a catechin filter is. It is the little piece of mesh tucked inside a corner of your aircond fan coil unit just in front of the fins. OK, i think most people don’t know what the fan coil unit nor the fin is. Anyway, pictorially it looks like the white piece of fabric (often times it is green instead) in the featured photo above, and you see it when you open up the front panel of your aircond fan coil unit.
The catechin filter reduces odour and kills bacteria and viruses. Now, that sounds like it’s a rather important part of your aircond, doesn’t it? Yet, people don’t seem to be bothered about it, mostly because there are no strict guidelines about the need to perform maintenance on the catechin filter. There are conflicting information about how long the catechin filter can last, and it can be either just a few months, or up to a decade. I would guess that it can last quite a while, which is why you can’t buy them so easily.
When it comes to maintaining the catechin filter, again, there are conflicting information. You could vacuum it or wash it, but there are sources that say you could damage it if you actually did wash it. My take on this is to vacuum it every time you vacuum/clean the air filter (the outermost filter mesh). If it is covered in dust, then surely it will not be effective.
Anyway, for some reason, the catechin filters are missing from my aircond fancoil units (the previous owner of my house did away with them for some reason). And since i know how important they are, i had to purchase new ones. I turn to Taobao as usual.
The Chinese translation for catechin is 儿茶素, which actually tells you literally that it is a tea extract. The catechin air filters sold on Taobao are mostly meant for the China branded aircond – Gree, but you can also find those made for Japanese branded ones. Rightfully, all catechin filters are made of the same basic material, so the brand shouldn’t matter. Nor would the dimensions. But one can never know for sure if it works as intended.
As usual, I bought from the seller with the highest sales volume. At 6 Yuan (S$1.25) each, they are very affordable. In comparison, the catechin filter sold by a Japanese seller costs about S$10 each.
I will probably replace these catechin filters once a year, as per the recommendation of the Taobao product page. They are so cheap anyway.