Keeping your Air Filter Clean

Keeping Your Air Conditioning Filter Clean

Keeping your air conditioner functioning smoothly plays an integral part in keeping your unit running smoothly as well as your everyday health, especially your respiratory health. Having clean air filters will keep dust and allergens out of the air reducing asthma and allergies. Dirty air filters will also cause your unit to run less efficiently, causing your energy bill to increase.

You want to clean or replace your air filters every month or two, depending on how often you use your unit, the weather, season and how dusty/dirty the air is in your region. If your home is very dusty or you have just moved in you can replace your filter on a weekly basis until the air in your home is free of excess dust. After that, you can determine how often to replace your filter by checking the filter on a monthly basis.

There are many types, sizes and efficiency levels of air filters. You can purchase reusable or disposable filters. Always check with your air conditioners manufacturer for the best type and fit for your unit.


Cleaning and sanitizing your Air Filter

Items you will need:

  • Ladder (if your return is up high)
  • Screwdriver
  • Brush for cleaning
  • Vacuum with attachments
  • Water
  • Vinegar


  1. Be sure you turn your unit off while replacing the filter so that dust and debris are not being pulled through your unit while you are replacing the filter.
  2. Use a ladder or stool to reach your air return and open the vent.
  3. You may need a screwdriver to remove some screws to get to the vent or a simple latch that just requires a flip to the opposite position.
  4. Remove the filter.
  5. If you are replacing the filter with a disposable filter, replace and close the vent and you are finished. If you are using a reusable filter go to step 5.
  6. Inspect reusable filters for rips, stains or tears. Replace the filter with a new one if you find any of these.
  7. Use the brush and vacuum to remove any dust and debris from the filter being careful that you do not cause any damage to the filter. Doing this outside or in a tub or sink is best because this can get very messy.
  8. Use a hose or running water to rinse the filter out by running the water through the filter the opposite direction of air flow.
  9. Fill a large bucket or tub with 50:50 water and vinegar. Soak filter in mixture for 1-4 hours depending on how dirty your filter is.
  • Remove filter and allow to air dry completely before reinstalling.

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