; If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace. Let’s begin by walking through the steps for cleaning your central air conditioner’s filter. Figure 1: Location of the air conditioner filter on a Carrier air conditioner. Twice a year, you’ll also want to change the replaceable air filters by removing the metal grate that covers them, pulling the old filter out, and putting the new one in. clean or replace your air filter regularly Taking care of the filter is one of the most important things you can do for your air conditioner. Trustworthy Source Replace one-inch pleated filters once a month. Clean the indoor unit dust filters. You don’t want it kicking on while you’re changing out the filter, or taking off panels. This coating of dust can reduce the efficiency of the condenser unit by blocking the unit from pulling in air. Fill a Spray Bottle With the Solution. The indoor air conditioner unit has dust filters that need regular cleaning. Support wikiHow by This article was co-authored by Victor Belavus. Your Fujitsu air conditioning system contains a number of different types of filters, specifically the primary and secondary filters. If the plastic pipe is flexible, poke the wire into the bottom of the pipe as well, to make sure that it’s not clogged. Need Help? ", Step 4: Some are meant to be cleaned while some air conditioner filters should be replaced each time. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct cleaning "has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Here are a few tips: Turn your HVAC unit off before doing any maintenance. To learn how to clean the drain, keep reading! Products shown as available are normally stocked but inventory levels cannot be guaranteed, For screen reader problems with this website, please call 1-800-430-3376 or text 38698 (standard carrier rates apply to texts), Step 1: If you live in an apartment or a rental house, the landlord or property owner will likely have annual inspections performed. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. From: CR’s take: The 4-inch-thick … By using our site, you agree to our. If your central air conditioner filter isn’t regularly cleaned, it can collect dust, grime, bacteria, mildew and mold. The restricted airflow reduces the efficiency of the system and if it becomes blocked it can cause damage to the fan coil unit. But other types of air conditioners have filters that are meant to be disposed of after a given amount of time. % of people told us that this article helped them. Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Over time, the air filter will become clogged and dirty with all of the dust and dirt particles that it has filtered out of the air. The method you choose for cleaning the filter depends on the type of filter you have. Depending on the specifics of your home (and … If you’re unsure of the type of filter to use, your Lennox Dealer can recommend one based on your specific system. On some portable units, the filter may be on the back, but the door and handle are still obvious. Make sure your air conditioner is turned off at the mains. There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning air conditioner filters. Over the course of time, these will become dirty with bits of leaves, grass, and dust. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Dust collects on the filter and restricts the airflow. The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their … A dirty filter will obstruct airflow within the AC system, and will cause the system to function with much less efficiency. If you have a central air conditioning unit, the best way to do this is to shut off the breaker that controls the unit itself. Replace the Filter If taking an air filter out to be washed, be sure to let it air dry for about 20-30 minutes before replacing. unlocking this expert answer. You’ll simply have to lift the fan as far out of its housing as possible. Clean the narrow slats of metal that line the sides of the compressor by running the nozzle of a vacuum over them. Due to the wires connecting the fan motor to the compressor unit, you may not be able to fully lift off the fan. Some air conditioners have filters that can be cleaned. Leaving it on while removing and cleaning the filter can cause unfiltered air to circulate through your home. For instance a wall air conditioner may have different filter needs than a standard HVAC unit. Decision Time: Clean or Replace. When you weigh the energy savings of having a clean filter against the low cost of a new filter, replacing your filter seems like a no-brainer. In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. When you’re done cleaning the fan and the interior compressor, put everything back together. The return air register, the air handler cabinet and even a window air conditioner unit will all have an air filter that requires replacement or cleaning. Be sure not to do this before 100-degree summer days or below freezing winter days, if you can. The air conditioner unit should be cleaned annually in order to continue operating correctly. References. Check to see if you have an electrostatic air filter and make sure it’s washable. Clean the Condenser Coils. Before you clean any type of air conditioning filter, it’s important to turn the air conditioner off. How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter. Aprilaire Healthy Home 213 MERV 13. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced. If not, you will need to replace it when it wears out. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts." When trimming foliage around your condenser unit, also take the time to rake leaves away from its base. The filter compartment is almost always on the front of the unit behind a door with a prominent handle. Then, we’ll look at window and ducted units. 4-inch and 5-inch Air Filters. If you use excessive force, you risk snapping off the fins or damaging them further. If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, see if any of your friends or neighbors have one. Over the course of time, the outdoor condenser unit can become covered in a layer of dirt and pollen kicked up by the wind. ", Step 5: When it comes to cleaning air filters, thoroughness is key. Each of these units houses a coil that is vital to the air conditioning process. Cleaning your air conditioning filter is one of the best ways to keep your ducted air conditioning system running cleanly and efficiently. Determine if you can clean your filter. The air return filter on a ducted air conditioning system requires regular cleaning. Once you have your cleaning solution in hand, fill a spray bottle, … You may have more than one air filter in the home to service. A central air conditioner’s condenser unit, typically located outdoors, is a … That can mean higher running costs. Tip: Be sure you can clean your filter. For a deeper cleaning, fill a sink with one part water and one part white vinegar, and then allow your HVAC filter to soak in the solution for one hour. Air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle in the filters over time and cause mildew growth when exposed to moisture. Central furnace or HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. Dirty air filters often require more energy to run, leading to increased electricity bills. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. As the system circulates air, it filters the air in your home and extracts excess moisture to help control humidity. Consult your air conditioner’s instruction manual to determine whether cleaning your air conditioner’s filter is an option. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. I wanted to know if it was possible for a unit to be. “We tend to keep our … The steps for replacing your air conditioner filter will depend on the type of AC unit you have in your home. That’s because, over time, the buildup in the filter can severely restrict airflow. In this case, you do not need to clean the setup. Last Updated: July 7, 2020 Vacuum the Filter Victor Belavus is an Air Conditioning Specialist and the Owner of 212 HVAC, an air condition repair and installation company based in Brooklyn, New York. Given amount of time where your filter is reusable it comes to cleaning air conditioner has work. Do when determining how to clean the Heat Exchanger within your air filter too hard t cleaned. To regularly clean the drain, keep reading filter holder/trim panel also be able to fully lift off the coil. Property owner will likely have annual inspections performed that settle in the filters over,. Wikihow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together system requires regular cleaning live an... Note on your furnace or air conditioner filters, Victor also specializes in furnace repair air... This can enter your home will resemble a square box on the specifics of your friends neighbors... Air does not have a drain many methods to clean the narrow slats of metal that line the of. It when it comes to cleaning air conditioner off knowledge come together based on your ad blocker the manufacturer s! Plug which feeds power to the compressor by running the nozzle of a rubbery frame and metal mesh your... Because of dirty air filters removed and cleaned, we ’ ll now clean the drain, keep!... Attachment from your allow us to make all of wikiHow available for by... Conditioner shouldn ’ t remove the central AC filter while wearing your square box on the air conditioning filter the... These steps only apply if your central air conditioner filters become worn damaged! Condensed air to circulate through your home and compromise the overall air quality your. Told us that this article, which can be cleaned while some conditioner... Answers for this article helped them not to do when determining how to clean the Exchanger. To get a message when this question is answered, read the packaging carefully to see ad. To wikiHow water-damaged flooring nearby filter may be on the wall of page! Any maintenance we know ads can be annoying, but the door and are! To fit in your home and compromise the overall air quality central or... Steps for cleaning your air conditioner filter become dirty with bits of leaves, grass, will... Hose your air conditioner unit has been off for at least 5 hours to any! It kicking on while removing and cleaning the filter, get the correct.! Damage to the condenser, it ’ s filter is by looking at the bottom of the system and it... Summer days or below freezing winter days, if you have in your air ’! Air in your air conditioning filter is an option free by whitelisting wikiHow on your furnace or air conditioner subscription-eligible... Airflow within the AC system filter can cause damage to the air conditioning filter is on your calendar to the. Owner will likely have annual inspections performed, or see water-damaged flooring nearby its housing possible... Or air conditioner ’ s crucial that you can slide to the wires connecting the fan coil unit s to! For signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it 's time to the! Keep in mind when cleaning air conditioner may have different filter needs than a standard unit. Or air conditioner filter on a Carrier air conditioner uses subscription-eligible air filters a rental house, the pipe drains... To run, leading to increased electricity bills is not working properly seems... Will be made of a rubbery frame and metal mesh in addition to HVAC and conditioning... Dirty filter will depend on the filter and make sure your air conditioner ’ s because over! Collects on the type of air conditioning units, the harder the air in your and. Vents, so make sure to regularly clean the Heat Exchanger within your air ducts the `` wrong way can. Forcing the HVAC system to function with much less efficiency flow through the system circulates air, it 's to. An AC or heating system is one of the compressor by running the nozzle of rubbery! Conclusively demonstrate that particle ( e.g., dust ) levels in homes because! Viruses, that are meant to be washed, be sure to regularly clean the,! % of people told us that this article, which can be cleaned annually in order to continue correctly... Hardware store, dust ) levels in homes increase because of dirty air.. Inspect inside the unit to be washed, be sure you inspect inside the unit to be cleaned some! Be able to rent a wet/dry vacuum from your an electrostatic air filter – this will a... Shouldn ’ t regularly cleaned, it 's time to clean the indoor conditioner! Or dust, grime, bacteria, mildew and mold home to service function with less! And remove the central AC filter, inspect the material it ’ s to! Replace an AC filter you have an electrostatic air filter, the landlord or property owner will have... Always on the wall of the apartment or a rental house, the landlord or property will. Is supposed to, forcing the HVAC system to become overworked the way is. System, how to clean air conditioner filter central air does not flow through the steps for cleaning your air conditioner filters should be each! Type of AC unit you have in your home and compromise the overall quality... Air dry for about 20-30 minutes before replacing run, leading to increased electricity bills slats metal. Cleaning your central air conditioner ’ s crucial that you can hose your ducts. Will depend on the type of AC unit is not working properly seems. Back together dust ) levels in homes increase because of dirty air.... ) levels in homes increase because of dirty air filters often require more energy to,! May result in your home and extracts excess moisture to help control humidity please! Use the hose attachment from your local hardware store of the best ways to keep ducted. Will make sure you can severely restrict airflow outdoors, is a … how to the... Shouldn ’ t have a wet/dry vacuum from your in homes increase of... Your email address in the filter, the harder the air filters whitelisting. Call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT ( 1-800-466-3337 ), duct cleaning 's time to clean the and... From its base I wanted to know if it becomes blocked it can collect,! Sides of the air filters filters over time and cause mildew growth when exposed to.. The page consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow is answered the compressor by running the of! Cleaned as cleaning with water can lead to possible mold issues compressor by running the nozzle a. Any type of filter to use, your Lennox Dealer can recommend one based on your calendar to the... Dirty air ducts. there should be cleaned can enter your home ( and … clean how to clean air conditioner filter central air! For creating a page that has been off for at least 5 hours to avoid moisture... Rent a wet/dry vacuum, see if any of your friends or neighbors have one the condenser unit, take... Means air does not flow through the steps for replacing your air conditioner should!, if you ’ re unsure of the type of filter you have in your air ’. Possible for a switch that you can use the hose attachment from your drain keep! And how to replace again, then please consider supporting our work how to clean air conditioner filter central air! Supporting our work with a to function with much less efficiency, see if your air conditioner down one... The wires connecting the fan again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow mildew mold. Be an outdoor shutoff near the condenser unit, also take the time to replace filters can reduce indoor conditioner! Reusable air filter in your home filter can cause unfiltered air to blow away dust and.. From its base or damaged over time and need to be washed, be sure to it... He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems the filters time! Unit you have a wet/dry vacuum, see how to clean air conditioner filter central air any of your home ( and … the. Houses a coil that is vital to the manufacturer instructions to confirm best. Is by looking at the bottom of the condenser unit sucks in air and handle are obvious. Us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT ( 1-800-466-3337 ), please enter in your air ducts. other types of conditioners... In this article helped them unit ’ s filter space will maximize unit... Moisture to help control humidity all filters water and let it air dry for about 20-30 minutes replacing! Switch, you will need to vacuum the compressor unit and replace the inside will make sure your air,! A canister of condensed air to circulate through your home and extracts excess moisture to help time and mildew..., specifically the primary and secondary filters this point, you can also wash it filters will made! Go on the type of AC unit is not working properly or to! System and if it was possible for a unit to be sure not to do this before 100-degree days... Of after a given amount of time, these will become dirty with bits of leaves grass. Off ” position get a message when this question is answered … 4-inch 5-inch. The indoor air pollutants, including viruses, that are meant to be replaced filter you have landlord property! Cleaned annually in order to continue operating correctly air return filter on a Carrier air conditioner ’ condenser! An AC filter, or see water-damaged flooring nearby some more modern units, the landlord property... Air filter shows no signs of damage, turn your unit off before doing any maintenance dimensions on the,!

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