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How to Clean Air Conditioner Filters

Man taking out air conditioner filter to clean it.

Although your air conditioner’s filter is hidden away and working behind the scenes, you certainly shouldn’t forget to take care of it. This filter might be small, but it is incredibly mighty, as it helps prevent harmful dust and debris from clogging your equipment and impacting your family’s health.

If you have a central air conditioner, you’ll find yourself needing to clean or replace the air filter every so often. Replaceable filters should usually be changed out at minimum every 90 days. Reusable filters, like what we find in ductless mini-split air conditioners should be cleaned about every month. Your specific needs will vary depending on your situation, but this is a general rule of thumb to follow.

Have you been neglecting your air conditioning system’s maintenance needs? If so, you might be wondering how to clean air conditioner filters in a quick and efficient manner. Fortunately, it’s not so difficult to learn.

Below, let’s discuss the best way to clean air conditioner filters.

Shut Off Your Air Conditioner

When discussing how to clean air conditioner filters, it’s critical to mention that your safety always comes first! As a first and crucial step, you’ll need to shut off the power to your AC unit. You can turn off your cooling system at the breaker switch. Completing this step will ensure there isn’t harmful, unfiltered air circulating throughout your air handler.

Remove the Dirty Filter

Now that you’ve switched off your air conditioner, it’s time to get down to business.

As a next step, you’ll need to locate the AC filter so that you can remove it. You can usually find the filter in the return duct beneath your thermostat. If you don’t find it in this location, check near your air conditioner’s air handler. It’s also worth noting that air conditioning systems can have more than one filter, so check every location to ensure you aren’t accidentally missing one.

Now it’s time to remove the filter so that it can be cleaned. As you may or may not know, air conditioning filters come in many sizes and types. The first step in learning how to clean air conditioner filters is finding the right size for your system. We recommend checking your current filter’s measurements or asking a professional for help! If you’re interested in upgrading to a more efficient air filter you should consult an expert as this may reduce airflow and negatively impact the systems operation.

Vacuum the Air Filter

If you have a reusable filter, one way to remove the dust is with a hand vacuum cleaner. The vacuum should have a bristle attachment to help lift off any pesky particles.

When learning how to clean air conditioner filters, remember that patience and thoroughness are key. Don’t rush through the process; instead, take your time and make sure you’re vacuuming both sides of the filter. This way, you can feel confident that you’re doing a complete job.

Some homeowners might think that this is the best way to clean air conditioner filters. However, if you’re looking for a deeper cleaning solution, you should consider replacing it altogether.

Reinstall the Clean Filter

There you have it: you now know how to clean air conditioner filters! The good news is that the process is much easier than most homeowners expect it to be. As you can see, the entire cleaning process doesn’t take too much time — but it can make a world of difference in your air conditioning unit’s performance. Plus, this simple maintenance task can improve your indoor air quality alongside air duct cleaning.

The dirtier a filter gets, the more wear and tear your air conditioner can accumulate. In the end, if you fail to clean the air filters, you may find yourself needing to schedule a costly AC repair or a full system replacement.

Once you’ve finished cleaning the filter, it’s time to reinstall it. All you have to do is install the filter the same way you removed it; ensure the arrows on the side of the filter are pointing in the direction of the airflow.

Schedule Air Conditioner Maintenance With Polar Bear!

Although we’ve gone over some helpful tips and tricks, there isn’t really one best way to clean air conditioner filters. Every filter will have its own individual needs, so it’s important to ensure that you aren’t accidentally causing more harm than good with the cleaning methods you use.

It’s not an understatement to say that you use your air conditioner on a regular basis. It’s important to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning systems so that they don’t suddenly malfunction or break down when you need them most.

Polar Bear offers air conditioner maintenance services to ensure your central AC unit is always performing at its best. During a routine maintenance service, we’ll clean your air conditioner’s filter, perform a thorough inspection, test various components, and more.

Cleaning the air filter is only the beginning when it comes to taking care of your air conditioning system. Fortunately, our trained and experienced technicians can meet your every need. Whether you’re looking for maintenance service or want to purchase an AC unit for sale, we’ll provide you with a top-quality solution. Contact us today!


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