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How to Clean an AC Filter

How to Clean an AC Filter

Replacing a clogged filter with a clean one can mean up to a 15% decrease in your energy consumption. 

This is especially helpful in areas like Southwest Florida where the summers are long and hot and residents rely heavily on their AC units. But to get the full beneficial impact of AC filter cleaning, it's important to do it right.

In this post, we'll go over how to clean an AC filter properly and why it's important.

Keep reading to learn more.

Why It's Important

Cleaning your filter should be at the top of every AC maintenance checklist. Your AC filter is a major contributor to the quality of the air in your home, and if it gets clogged that air quality can decrease significantly. A clogged filter can also make it more difficult for your HVAC unit to cool your home which costs you more money in electricity and can even shorten the lifespan of your unit.

Of course, before you clean an AC filter, be sure it's designed to be cleaned. Some filters are disposable and are meant to be replaced rather than cleaned.

Make Sure Your AC Unit Is Off

When it's time to clean an AC filter, the first thing you need to do is make sure your AC unit is off. Cleaning an AC filter is in part meant to help keep the air in your home as clean as possible, so cleaning it while unfiltered air pumps into your home would be counterproductive. 

Retrieve the Filter

After making sure the unit is off, you can retrieve the filter. The location varies depending on your specific AC unit but is usually found behind the return air vent.

Once you've found the filter, open up the vent in front of it and slide the filter out. These filters can be fragile so it's important to be gentle.

Some larger homes have more than one filter that will need to be cleaned, so be sure you don't miss any.

Clean the Filter

Once you have the filter in hand and can see that it does in fact need to be cleaned, you have a couple of options. You can use a vacuum with a bristled attachment on both sides of the filter to clean away the dust and debris. Or, if your filter is water-friendly you can gently rinse it out using your shower/bath or a hose. 

Again, be sure to be gentle while doing this so you don't rip the filter. And if you choose to use water to clean it, make sure the water is flowing in the opposite direction to the airflow.

Replace the Filter

Once the filter is clean and dry, place it back where you found it. Most filters will have an arrow on them that shows you which direction they should be facing when installed.

Learn How to Clean an AC Filter

Your AC plays an important role in keeping your home comfortable during the hot Southwest Florida summers. Learning how to clean an AC filter the right way is a great first step toward keeping your AC unit in good working condition. 

If you're in Southwest Florida and have home maintenance needs we can help! Book a service call with us today.