How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter for Optimal Performance

If you want to keep your air conditioner running at its best, it's important to clean the air conditioner filter regularly. This will help reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and debris that can be circulated through the air in your home. There are a few different ways to clean an air conditioner filter, depending on how dirty it is. If your HVAC filter is only slightly dirty, you can place it in a sink or bathtub and rinse it thoroughly with warm running water.

You can also use an external hose on the filter, but make sure you don't use any pressurized settings, as this could damage the filter. If the filter is more heavily soiled, you can clean it with warm water and mild detergent or soap. Then, flush the filter with clean water to remove any residue. Most units house air conditioning filters just behind the return vent, which is usually located near the ceiling or near the floor. When a filter is dirty, it forces the air conditioner to work harder to push air through clogged fibers, consuming more energy to do so and, therefore, shortening its lifespan.

Different types of air filters are available, and while many are disposable and cannot be cleaned, thanks to changes in technology and related efficiencies, washable air filters are more common than ever. The disadvantage of these filters is that they have a recurring cost, which can be high depending on the number of returns from your home and the quality of the filter you use. You should install a new air filter if your current one shows visible signs of wear, such as holes, tears, or persistent dirt that won't come out. Before checking the filter, first make sure that the system is turned off. You don't want unfiltered air circulating throughout your house while the filter is being removed. After learning about the processes and benefits of cleaning your air conditioner filters, you may still have questions.

Keeping the unit turned off ensures that dirty air is not allowed to circulate around the house while the filter is being cleaned. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, the air filter in the air conditioner unit loses its effectiveness. If the filter is clogged, the air conditioner will work harder to cool the air in the house, placing a burden on the air conditioning unit and, at the same time, increasing your utility bill. You may need to change filters more often if your AC is in continuous use, is exposed to dusty environments, or if you have furry pets in your home. Brush the air filter with a vacuum hose connector or with a soft-bristled brush to collect as much dust and dirt as possible for disposal.

When the sheet is greyer, it means that there is more dust on your filter and you'll need to clean it regularly or call a professional service to improve your home's air quality.