How to Clean Your AC Filter and Finally Get A Breath of Fresh Air!

May 20, 2022

Claire Hebert

Claire Hebert

Installing an air conditioner is a fantastic investment for most houses since it keeps the inside cool when the temperature outside rises.

Naturally, you’ll want to maintain your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. Regular, appropriate air conditioner maintenance may assist extend the unit’s life while also maximizing its efficiency.

You may save money and return to a pleasant, cool temperature by learning to clean your air conditioning equipment instead of hiring a professional.

Why You Should Clean an Air Conditioner

Maintaining high air quality in your house requires cleaning your air conditioner. Filters in air conditioners are meant to gather dust (and occasionally other pollutants such as pollen and germs). Still, if they aren’t cleaned regularly, they can clog and collect moisture, leading to mold growth.

There’s nothing more critical to good health than the air you breathe. So, what if the air you’re breathing in daily is contaminated? While it’s a horrifying scenario, it’s more common than you might think.

Every time you turn a moldy air conditioner on, it spews mold spores and bacteria into the air and your lungs. If you have a moldy air conditioner, you expose yourself to harmful health problems. A moldy air conditioner is a recipe for chronic illness, and you need to fix it fast!

When to Clean an Air Conditioner

Air conditioner maintenance that is neglected leads to higher energy use and expenses. Replace the filters every month or two when the air conditioner is in service to keep your air conditioner clean. The air conditioner evaporator and condenser coils gather dirt over time, even with routinely replaced filters. Visually inspect the coils at least once a year to determine if they have collected dust or grime.

It’s time to clean the coils if they’ve accumulated dirt. Another indication that your air conditioner needs cleaning is if your energy bills are higher than in previous years, indicating that the efficiency of your air conditioner has dropped. Spring is a popular time to clean just about everything in your home, try these ways to get your office ready!

How To Clean An Air Conditioner Filter

Let’s start by going through how to clean an AC. Keep in mind that these instructions only apply if the filter in your air conditioner is reusable. If your filter is disposable, you’ll have to change it rather than clean it.

Determine The Location of The Air conditioner Filter

The filter for central air conditioners is usually located near the cold air return. This component is found in the basement in many states. On the other hand, air conditioners are typically kept in the garage or another storage space because residences in this area don’t usually have basements.

You may also have filters behind your return vents dispersed throughout your home.

Shut The Power Off And Unplug It

The most significant danger associated with cleaning your air conditioner is the potential for electrocution. The first and most crucial step is to switch off the electricity to the air conditioning unit at the breaker box rather than disconnect power from the machine itself. Before beginning the cleaning, double-check that the power has been switched off.

To Access The Filter Remove the Front Panel Of The Air conditioner

Screws, pressure, or some basic plastic clips will hold this panel in place. It will be hard to overlook the filter after the panel has been removed.

Remove and Vacuum The Filter

Typically, the filter will be caked with a large amount of dust. If the filter has a musty odor, it might indicate moisture issues within, necessitating a complete cleaning of the entire machine.

For a Deeper Clean, Rinse The Filter

Before you do anything, read the manual for your filter (or the instructions printed right on it, if appropriate). Some air conditioner filters aren’t meant to get wet, and you don’t want to ruin them.

If your filter is water-friendly, immerse it in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar for an hour. Allow the filter to dry completely before reinstalling it.

Dirty AC Filter


Allow for natural drying of the filter outside. Not allowing the filter to dry entirely can lead to mold formation, spreading spores throughout your home.

Last but not least, the filter should be replaced in its housing. Examine the airflow to determine if it is traveling in the appropriate direction. Close the vent and secure any screws or latches that are in place.

Congrats! You’ve completed your task.

Cleaning Your Air Conditioner’s Outdoor Unit

Clear the area around the outside compressor unit of grass and plants, and regularly brush away dust, leaves, and cobwebs.

Cleaning the air intake with a vacuum cleaner can help remove dust from the interior.

Experts don’t advocate opening up the machine to clean its internal components; that’s something best left to an expert.

Having Your Air Conditioner Serviced And Cleaned By a Professional

Your air conditioning system should be maintained regularly; the technician will check the refrigerant gas levels, test the thermostat, and ensure that all internal components are excellent. This will ensure that the device continues to function for many years.

According to certain manufacturers, the air conditioner should be maintained once a year. Others claim that as long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and clean the filters and units regularly, you’ll only need to have your air conditioner serviced if a problem arises.

If in doubt, check your manual for your model or seek help from the manufacturer.

Bottom Line 

It’s not difficult to clean your air conditioner filter. However, because you won’t see the impacts of a filthy filter right away, it’s simple to adopt an “out of sight, out of mind” strategy here. However, you must clean the filter regularly. Leaving unclean air conditioners running will eventually lead to more severe issues and final failure and put your health at risk.

Furthermore, because the evaporator coils cannot adequately disperse heat, your device is prone to overheating. Moreover, ice buildup is a possibility with your device.

These issues may be prevented if you get your air conditioner cleaned regularly.

To keep your airflow fresh, stick to a regular timetable. Make a monthly reminder to check the filter’s condition. Summer inspections may be required in hotter climes, whereas winter checks may be necessary for colder ones. Once you’ve worked out your unit’s rhythms, create a schedule and adhere to it throughout the year so you can breathe easily.

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