“We tend to keep our … This article has been viewed 41,751 times. Without regular cleanings and maintenance, the air filter in your air conditioning unit becomes less effective. Aprilaire Healthy Home 213 MERV 13. ". The air return filter on a ducted air conditioning system requires regular cleaning. If the filter is too large to fit in your sink, you can also wash it with a. Then … That can mean higher running costs. In a split-system central air conditioner, there is an indoor unit, typically a furnace and evaporator coil or fan coil, and an outdoor unit, often referred to as the air conditioning unit. Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced. How To Clean A Central Air Conditioner Filter. Air Conditioner Filter Cleaning Tips You may have more than one air filter in the home to service. Air Conditioning Specialist. Disposable filters will be made of thick, papery material, while reusable filters are made of a rubbery frame and metal mesh. Sometimes when you pull out the filter, it’s painfully obvious whether it’s time to clean or replace: if caked on dirt and dust are falling off the surface, it’s probably restricting air … This means air does not flow through the system the way it is supposed to, forcing the HVAC system to become overworked. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. A dirty air conditioner can be a major disrupter to your midsummer chill out. ", Step 2: Vacuum the Filter Keep reading for even more tips on how best to keep your air conditioner free of dirt and debris to keep it running as efficiently as possible. Check to see if your air conditioner uses subscription-eligible air filters. When you’re done cleaning the fan and the interior compressor, put everything back together. Fill a Spray Bottle With the Solution. In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. This article has been viewed 41,751 times. 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. Central furnace or HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. Over the course of time, the outdoor condenser unit can become covered in a layer of dirt and pollen kicked up by the wind. 6 May 2020. Clean the indoor unit dust filters. ", Step 4: Open the Air Conditioner. Use a garden hose to wash the fan blades and the interior slats. You’ll simply have to lift the fan as far out of its housing as possible. Finding where your filter is on your furnace or air conditioner shouldn’t be too hard. The filter compartment is almost always on the front of the unit behind a door with a prominent handle. U.S. Department of Energy If the filter is not located within the air conditioner unit, look for an access panel on the interior or exterior of your home near the air conditioner location. The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their … Consult your air conditioner’s instruction manual to determine whether cleaning your air conditioner’s filter is an option. Decision Time: Clean or Replace. How to Clean Washable Air Conditioner Filters. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This can enter your home and compromise the overall air quality. On some portable units, the filter may be on the back, but the door and handle are still obvious. If taking an air filter out to be washed, be sure to let it air dry for about 20-30 minutes before replacing. References. In some more modern units, the pipe which drains water runs directly into the floor, and does not have a drain. ", Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow, https://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner, https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/air-conditioner-repair/clean-your-air-conditioner-condenser-unit/view-all, https://dengarden.com/appliances/central-air-conditioning-units-maintenance-tips, почистить систему центрального кондиционирования воздуха, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Clean your AC filter monthly for optimal efficiency. Determine where your filter is by looking at the ductwork. To learn how to clean the drain, keep reading! If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. As the system circulates air, it filters the air in your home and extracts excess moisture to help control humidity. The method you choose for cleaning the filter depends on the type of filter you have. 4-inch and 5-inch Air Filters. This guide will explain how to clean an air conditioner filter. Last Updated: July 7, 2020 Remembering when and how to perform this simple task, however, is another matter. If your central air filter shows no signs of grime buildup, you can use the hose attachment from your. Over the course of time, these will become dirty with bits of leaves, grass, and dust. Here are a few easy tips to follow when learning how to clean air conditioner filters: Learning how to clean an AC filter can help you save on energy as well as help keep your air conditioner's workload. What's more, cleaning your air ducts the "wrong way" can make things worse, not better. Let’s begin by walking through the steps for cleaning your central air conditioner’s filter. If you see any build up or dust, it's time to clean it. The most important maintenance task that will improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean the air filters. Need Help? 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. If your unit does go on the fritz, Ambient Edge is … This will resemble a square box on the wall of the apartment or house. X Be sure not to do this before 100-degree summer days or below freezing winter days, if you can. Portable air cleaners, also known as air purifiers or air sanitizers, are designed to filter the air in a single room or area. Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced. This coating of dust can reduce the efficiency of the condenser unit by blocking the unit from pulling in air. Once you have your cleaning solution in hand, fill a spray bottle, … Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency Rinse it off with fresh water and let it fully dry before returning it to your AC unit. Here are a few tips: Turn your HVAC unit off before doing any maintenance. Once you’ve cleaned the slats, use a screwdriver to remove the wiring on top of the fan, then remove the fan itself. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? 2 Wash reusable filters outdoors. Make a note on your calendar to change the filter again according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Each of these units houses a coil that is vital to the air conditioning process. With the air filters removed and cleaned, we’ll now clean the Heat Exchanger within your air conditioner. 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: Some units will have multiples vents, so make sure you inspect inside the unit to be sure you removed all filters. If you notice that your AC unit is not working properly or seems to be broken, contact your rental agency. % of people told us that this article helped them. You don’t want it kicking on while you’re changing out the filter, or taking off panels. ; Before changing the air filter, get the correct size. 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. From: CR’s take: The 4-inch-thick … Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning air conditioner filters. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace. If you use excessive force, you risk snapping off the fins or damaging them further. In this case, you do not need to clean the setup. Clogged drain lines. Then, we’ll look at window and ducted units. Shut off power to the unit. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 41,751 times. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct cleaning "has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, see if any of your friends or neighbors have one. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. Inside, look for a switch that you can slide to the “OFF” position. Most central air systems use 1-inch, medium-efficiency MERV filters, such as the Nordic Pure MERV 12. Air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle in the filters over time and cause mildew growth when exposed to moisture. This article was co-authored by Victor Belavus. If you have a central air conditioning: Shut off your AC system. If your central air conditioner filter isn’t regularly cleaned, it can collect dust, grime, bacteria, mildew and mold. unlocking this expert answer. In terms of maintenance, you need to clean washable filters once every month, neglecting this can cause restriction of airflow as dirt keeps building up within the filter. The Cleaning Procedure: First, remove the plastic filter holder/trim panel. How to Replace Your Air Conditioner Filter. Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollutants, including viruses, that are airborne. 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. 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. If you’re unsure of the type of filter to use, your Lennox Dealer can recommend one based on your specific system. Your Air Cleaning Filter should be replaced annually. This is best to do once the unit has been off for at least 5 hours to avoid any moisture or heat buildup. But other types of air conditioners have filters that are meant to be disposed of after a given amount of time. To learn how to clean the drain, keep reading! This site was very helpful. I wanted to know if it was possible for a unit to be. Make sure your air conditioner is turned off at the mains. Go to source Air conditioner units consist of condenser (which itself contains the compressor, cooling tubes, and a fan), an evaporator (the large internal unit which cools the air), tubes to drain moisture from the dehumidified air, and a fan to blow the cool air out into the house or apartment. Air Conditioner Coils. He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems. 3 Steps to Better Indoor Air Quality. The first thing to do when determining how to clean an AC filter, is to turn your air conditioner off. Rest assured that you can hose your air conditioner down as one of many methods to clean it off. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts." Find your air filter location. Replace the Filter When you replace an AC filter, read the packaging carefully to see how long the manufacturer guarantees its effectiveness. Cleaning a washable air filter in an AC or heating system is one of the most important things you can do. 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. The Home Depot offers a subscription service for replacement air filters. If you have a Frigidaire central air conditioning system, you'll find the filter compartment on the main air … Clean the narrow slats of metal that line the sides of the compressor by running the nozzle of a vacuum over them. Clean the Condenser Coils. Check to see if you have an electrostatic air filter and make sure it’s washable. Please call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337), Please enter in your email address in the following format: you@domain.com. To check for signs of damage, turn your unit off and remove the central AC filter while wearing your. 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. Wash the Filter This article was co-authored by Victor Belavus. The steps for replacing your air conditioner filter will depend on the type of AC unit you have in your home. 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. Keep in mind that these steps only apply if your air conditioner’s filter is reusable. If you cannot find the power outlet where the compressor unit is plugged in, or if you’re inclined to be extra cautious, you can simply flip the switch to “OFF” in the circuit breaker box which controls power to the AC condenser. Tip: Be sure you can clean your filter. As your system runs, it draws air from common areas which are full of things like dust, dirt, pet hair and other tiny particles. If not, you will need to replace it when it wears out. A central air conditioner’s condenser unit, typically located outdoors, is a … Victor Belavus. Step 1: Increase ventilation in your house. This will help you avoid any mold issues. Cleaning your air conditioning filter is one of the best ways to keep your ducted air conditioning system running cleanly and efficiently. You may also be able to rent a wet/dry vacuum from your local hardware store. Check the dimensions on the air filter – this will tell you what size replacement AC filter you need. ; If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace. Depending on the specifics of your home (and … A dirty filter will obstruct airflow within the AC system, and will cause the system to function with much less efficiency. Easy DIY instructions on how to keep your Ducted air conditioning filter clean. Support wikiHow by Figure 1: Location of the air conditioner filter on a Carrier air conditioner. If your air conditioner’s filter is dirty and clogged, this may result in your AC smelling musty. When it comes to cleaning air filters, thoroughness is key. Clogged filters. Many disposable air conditioner filters should be replaced rather than cleaned as cleaning with water can lead to possible mold issues. Your Fujitsu air conditioning system contains a number of different types of filters, specifically the primary and secondary filters. Also make sure to regularly clean the coils and fan using a canister of condensed air to blow away dust and buildup. He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems. It usually snaps off. Carefully remove … To clean a central air conditioner, you’ll need to vacuum the compressor unit and replace the inside air filter. The condenser unit sucks in air through these fins. 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. Whether cleaning air conditioner filters with a vacuum or with water, we have the tools to help. This space will maximize the unit’s efficiency by allowing plenty of free-flowing air. Expert Interview. Call a AC professional cleaner—or your landlord—if you notice water pooling around the base of the evaporator unit, or see water-damaged flooring nearby. "I am an assistant property manager of rental apartments. Review the manufacturer instructions to confirm the best technique. For instance a wall air conditioner may have different filter needs than a standard HVAC unit. While a few units will only need to be cleaned every so often, if you are in a high traffic area, or a location with dust and debris, then you need to clean it on a regular basis. By using our site, you agree to our. All Rights Reserved. Before you clean any type of air conditioning filter, it’s important to turn the air conditioner off. There should be an outdoor shutoff near the condenser unit. Leaving it on while removing and cleaning the filter can cause unfiltered air to circulate through your home. The air conditioner unit should be cleaned annually in order to continue operating correctly. When trimming foliage around your condenser unit, also take the time to rake leaves away from its base. Rinsing the fins from the inside will make sure that any obstructions are cleared, and the unit can effectively draw in air. This is an easy job that could potentially save you thousands. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Dust collects on the filter and restricts the airflow. 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":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/bf\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/bf\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-2.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/e3\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/e3\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-3.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/a0\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/a0\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-4.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-5.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-5.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c2\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-5.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-5.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/15\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-6.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-6.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/15\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-6.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-6.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c9\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-7.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-7.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c9\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-7.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-7.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/f8\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-8.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-8.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/f8\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-8.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-8.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/4\/4b\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-9.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-9.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/4\/4b\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-9.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-9.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b3\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-10.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-10.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b3\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-10.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-10.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/bb\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-11.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-11.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/bb\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-11.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-11.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/a2\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-12.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-12.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/a2\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-12.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-12.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Before you begin cleaning, shut off power to the unit. ", Step 5: To check for signs of damage, turn your unit off and remove the central AC filter while wearing your rubber gloves. In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter. If the vacuum hose doesn’t remove the buildup, you will need to wash it. The restricted airflow reduces the efficiency of the system and if it becomes blocked it can cause damage to the fan coil unit. Trustworthy Source How do you clean a central air conditioner filter? To quickly tell a disposable from a reusable air filter, inspect the material it’s made from. Some air conditioners have filters that can be cleaned. Before you begin disassembling any portion of the condenser, it’s crucial that you disable the power supply. Due to the wires connecting the fan motor to the compressor unit, you may not be able to fully lift off the fan. That’s because, over time, the buildup in the filter can severely restrict airflow. ", Step 3: Turn Off the AC Unit The indoor air conditioner unit has dust filters that need regular cleaning. To clean the unit, you’ll need to vacuum the compressor unit, and replace the inside air filter. stolen from outside while it is in use? 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. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. [1] Local store prices may vary from those displayed. Dirty air filters often require more energy to run, leading to increased electricity bills. If there is no switch, you’ll need to manually pull the plug which feeds power to the condenser. The more clogged the filter, the harder the air conditioner has to work to push air through it. Locate the air filter. Determine if you can clean your filter. Replace one-inch pleated filters once a month. Some are meant to be cleaned while some air conditioner filters should be replaced each time. At this point, you can also turn the power supply back on. While many modern air conditioners come equipped with self-cleaning functions, nothing beats a proper hands-on clean of the various bits and bobs within your unit that can get clogged with dust and dirt over time. If you live in an apartment or a rental house, the landlord or property owner will likely have annual inspections performed.