How to Clean an AC Filter

Posted - December 27, 2022
Dirty air conditioning filter

While air conditioners do not require much maintenance, you must clean the air filter regularly. This ensures that your home or business has fewer allergens, makes the unit run more efficiently, and prolongs the unit’s life.

Some units have disposable filters. In that case, you will simply remove the current one and put a new one in its place. You can replace most disposable filters with washable ones, which is a terrific way to save money.

Let’s examine how to replace disposable filters and what you can do to clean reusable filters if you seek this option for your HVAC.

Replacing Disposable HVAC Filters

Some units have disposable filters, which are simple to switch out with a new filter every few months or as required. If you’ve never replaced a disposable filter before, here is a quick rundown of the process.

Locate the Disposable Filter

To change out the filter, start by locating them. There may be more than one, so consult your user’s manual if unsure. Most filter housing is located next to your HVAC’s air handler. They are usually found in a utility closet, attic, or basement if you don’t know where your air handler is.

Remove the Disposable Filter

Open the filter’s compartment and pull out the filter. Since one of the filter’s jobs is to catch allergens, you will want to immediately put it in a trash bag and take it outside.

Install the new Disposable Filter

The next step is to put the new filter in place. Pay attention to any markings on the filter, so you put it in correctly.

Close the Unit and Power it Up

The final step is to close the unit and turn the power back on. Your unit should begin working again. Since life can be hectic, set a reminder on your phone for when you need to change the filter again.

How to Clean a Reuseable AC Filter

Using reusable air filters has multiple benefits that have become increasingly relevant in today’s environment, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability. Reusable air filters can be cleaned rather than replaced, eliminating the need to purchase new filters every month and leading to significant cost savings over time.

Cleaning a reusable filter is easy and requires only a few minutes.

Turn Off the Air Conditioner

Start by turning off the air conditioner. Depending on your unit, there may be a switch to turn off the unit near your furnace. Manufacturers put them in different places so check your user’s manual. Alternatively, you can turn off the power at the main breaker box.

Remove the Filter

In most cases, you can pull the filter out. Note that units may have more than one filter. If unsure, consult your unit’s instruction book to find out how many filters there are and their location.

Vacuum the Filter

One of the filter’s purposes is to catch allergens. You do not want these spreading throughout your home while cleaning the filter. Therefore, you should use a handheld vacuum to remove as much buildup on the filter as possible close to the unit.

Soak the Filter

If the filter is filthy, your next step is to soak it. Put equal amounts of white vinegar and warm water in a tub. You will need enough to cover the filter. Then, submerge the filter in the mixture and let it soak for an hour.

Wash the Filter

Place the filter under running water. Turn the filter so that the water reaches all of it. You can use a little diluted dish soap to clean the filter further. If there are still dirty places, gently use a soap pad to work on those areas. In addition to cleaning the filter, you should also wipe down the frame with a microfiber cloth. Never use a pressure washer to clean a filter.

Dry the Filter

Use a microfiber cloth to dry the filter gently. Alternatively, you can wait a few minutes for the filter to dry.

Reinstall the Filter

Put the filter back in place. If there are locks to hold the filter in place, ensure that you lock them correctly.

Once the filter is in place, restart the unit by turning on the power supply.

Having Trouble With Your HVAC? Advanced Home Comfort Can Help!

While cleaning the filter is essential, you should also call Advanced Home Comfort to complete a whole home evaluation if cleaning and replacement isn’t enough to keep the air in your home fresh. Our professionals can assess the state of your current system and make recommendations on how to improve its performance. If you need HVAC repairs in Dallas, we are the experts you can trust.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.