Project Guide

How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

1
Vacuum the Filter
  • Turn off and unplug your air conditioner 
  • Use a screwdriver to open the unit and remove the filter. 
  • If your central air filter has been recently cleaned and shows no signs of grime buildup, you can vacuum the surface with the hose attachment to remove any debris. 
  • If the vacuum hose doesn’t remove the buildup, you will need to wash it. 
2
Wash the Filter
  • 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.
  • Rinse it off with fresh water and let it fully dry before returning it to your AC unit.
  • If the filter is too large to fit in your sink, you can also wash it with a garden hose outside. Be sure to lower the water pressure, so you don’t accidentally damage the filter.
3
Replace Worn Filters

Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced.

  • To check for signs of damage, turn your unit off and remove the central AC filter while wearing your rubber gloves.
  • If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace.
  • When you replace an AC filter, read the packaging carefully to see how long the manufacturer guarantees its effectiveness. Make a note on your calendar to change the filter again according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
4
AC Filter Cleaning Tips
  • Clean your AC filter monthly for optimal efficiency. 
  • The method you choose for cleaning the filter depends on the type of filter you have. Review the manufacturer instructions to confirm the best technique.
  • Check to see if you have an electrostatic air filter and make sure it’s washable. If not, you will need to replace it when it wears out.
  • Also make sure to regularly clean the coils and fan using a canister of condensed air to blow away dust and buildup.