All air conditioning units have air filters that can be cleaned at home with a vacuum, or some soap and water. HVAC systems can't run on unfiltered air, and a dusty filter can result in a number of problems. Cleaning filters is an easy task that shouldn't take more than half an hour to accomplish. Cleaning the filter is also important to ensure fresh air coming from your AC.
The Effects of an Unmaintained Air Conditioner Filter
A dirty filter actually contributes to a variety of air conditioner issues that may require expensive repairs later on. Because air filters are responsible for air circulation in your air conditioner, any disruption in air flow can cause damages or malfunctions in the unit such as:
- Short Cycling of the Air Conditioner
- Air Conditioner Overheating
- Air Conditioner Freezing Up
- Musty Odors from Mold and Mildew
- Strange Sounds from the Air Conditioner
- Reduced Cooling Capacity
All these can further damage your AC unit when left unchecked, so clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maintain the good working condition of your reusable filters, as well as the condition of your air conditioning unit.
How to Clean An Air Conditioner Filter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Most air conditioners have reusable air filter panels that can be washed or vacuumed up. Check your air conditioner's instruction manual for tips on cleaning your air conditioner filters, and whether or not you can wash the filter with water.
Some air filters cannot get wet, so your best option is to use a vacuum cleaner and a soft dusting brush to remove the grime. Here are step-by-step ways to clean an air conditioner filter through washing or vacuuming:
How to Clean AC Filter with Vacuum Cleaner
Step 1: Remove the Vent Housing of Your AC Unit
First, unplug your air conditioning unit, then carefully remove the vent of your air conditioner to access the filter. Some air conditioners may have screws or removable parts that lock the housing in place, so be sure to keep track of these small items.
Step 2: Vacuum the Visible Side of Your Air Conditioner Filter
Place the nozzle attachment on your vacuum, and use it to clean the exposed side of the air conditioner filter. Use a brush to gently loosen the grime, and keep vacuuming as you do to catch the falling dust particles.
Step 3: Flip, Brush, and Vacuum
Flip the filter to the unexposed side, and vacuum it similarly to how you cleaned the other side. Use the brush to again loosen any debris stuck on the air conditioner's filter. Keep the nozzle of the vacuum as close to the mesh as possible for a deeper clean.
Step 4: Vacuum the Coils
While the filter is out, vacuum up the coils. Use a gentle, low suction setting to remove any dust particles that have gotten into the coils behind the filter. Avoid tinkering with the coils, but allow the vacuum to suck up debris. This would improve your air quality when you use the air conditioner again.
Step 5: Replace the Housing, and Wipe Down AC Unit
Place the AC filter back in place, and secure the housing. Give the entire unit a good wipe down to finish the cleaning job.
How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter with Soap and Water
Step 1: Open Up the AC Unit Housing
Open up the aircon housing to expose the filter. Dirty filters often look grey and fuzzy, and unless you have a disposable filter, you will need to clean the filter every two weeks or so for the best use of your aircon.
Step 2: Vacuum the Air Filter
Vacuum up the excess dust from your filter to prevent particles from flying into the room. Vacuum up both sides, and use a brush to loosen the grime as needed.
Step 3: Remove the Air Filter
Take the filter out, and place it in a laundry basin to prevent the debris from falling onto the floor. It helps to add a bit of water in the basin to keep the dust trapped inside instead of flying around in the air.
Step 4: Wash Air Filter with Water and Soap
Run the filter under clean water, and add some gentle liquid soap such as dishwashing soap. Use your hand to work the soap into the mesh, but be careful not to damage the mesh as it can cause holes to form.
Step 5: Use a Soft Brush When Scrubbing Air Filters
Use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently scrub away at the dirt. Rinse the soap off of the filter, and repeat the soaping and scrubbing method as needed. Gently pat the filter dry with a towel after the final rinse.
Step 6: Let Air Dry Completely
Prop up the filter in a well-ventilated area to dry, and allow the filter to completely dry before placing it back into your air conditioner. Secure the housing over the filter, and give the entire aircon unit a good wipe with a clean cloth.
Clean An Air Conditioner Easily
Beyond the air filter, most major parts of an air conditioner require the cleaning assistance of professional HVAC technicians. Some parts may be hazardous to clean by yourself at home, while others may get damaged if handled improperly.
Trust Luce Aircon technicians to clean your unit at an affordable rate! Our years of experience across all models and brands of HVAC systems give us a competitive advantage as we provide only the best cleaning services to our clients.
Send us a message today, and we can discuss a cleaning and maintenance schedule for you!