How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Air conditioners are essential for keeping your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. But, like any other appliance, they require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently. One of the most important tasks is cleaning the air conditioner filter. This is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps.

First, you'll need to locate the air filter. This is usually located near the blower motor or in the return air duct. Once you've found it, turn off the power to the air conditioner unit. Air conditioning filters can be delicate, so it's important to make sure the power is off before you start cleaning.

Next, remove the filter from its housing and inspect it for any damage or debris. If it's heavily soiled, you may need to use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt or dust particles. For a more thorough cleaning, fill a sink with one part water and one part white vinegar and then allow the HVAC filter to absorb the solution for one hour. Once the filter has been cleaned, use a medium temperature vacuum to remove all dust and other particles from the air filter.

Finally, replace the filter in its housing and turn on the power to the air conditioner unit. It's important to clean or replace your air conditioner filter regularly to reduce the likelihood of airborne mold and common allergens being transmitted through forced air systems. Ignoring your air conditioner not only increases your monthly bills as the unit has difficulty operating, but you also end up breathing dirty air all day long because the air filter is responsible for removing dirt, microbes and other particles from the air. Victor Belavus is an air conditioning specialist and owner of 212 HVAC, an air conditioning repair and installation company based in Brooklyn, New York.

He recommends cleaning your air conditioner filter every three months or so, depending on how often you use it. If you leave it on while you remove and clean the filter, it can cause unfiltered air to circulate around the house. In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. Learn for yourself what you can do to maintain your home's air ducts and when you should see a professional for cleaning. Keep the air in your home clean, allow your air conditioner unit to work more efficiently, and help your filters last longer with these simple tips.