How to Clean an Air Filter on Air Conditioner: A Complete Guide

Air conditioners are essential for keeping your home comfortable, but they can become inefficient if the air filter isn’t regularly cleaned. Without regular cleaning, dust and dirt build up on the air conditioner filter, reducing airflow and making it harder to keep your home cool. This leads to higher energy bills and an uncomfortable environment in your home.

Cleaning an air conditioner filter is easy with this complete guide! We’ll show you how to remove the old filter, clean it properly, and replace it with a new one so that your air conditioning system runs efficiently again. With just a few simple steps you can save money on energy costs while enjoying a cooler home all summer long!

What do air conditioner filters do?

First and foremost, it is a good idea to understand what an air filter does and why it needs to be changed. An air filter’s main purpose is to remove airborne contaminants from the air as it circulates through your home. This includes things like dust, pollen, and pet dander. It also helps to trap larger particles, like mould spores and dust mites.

While it is important to keep these contaminants out of your home, it is also important to remember that air filters need to be replaced regularly as unfiltered air or fresh air that has gone through the air conditioners dirty filter, can cause serious health problems.

This is because, over time, these contaminants can build up on the air conditioner’s filter, making it less effective at doing its job. For this reason, the seasoned providers of air filters behind Filterbuy suggest that you change your filter as soon as it starts to look dirty.

As much as possible, you also want to avoid reusing air filters. If you do, you run the risk of reintroducing contaminants back into your home’s air. This will not only defeat the purpose of having an air filter, but it can also be harmful to your health.

How often do you change an air filter in an air conditioning unit?

This is a question that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on the type of filter you have, as well as the environment in which you live, you may need to change your filter more or less frequently. For example, if you have pets or someone in your home who suffers from allergies, you will likely need to change your filter more often.

The same goes for if you live in an area with a lot of dust or pollen. On the other hand, if you don’t have any pets and nobody in your home suffers from allergies, you may be able to get away with changing your filter less frequently.

As a general rule of thumb, most experts suggest changing your the air filter on your air conditioning unit every three months. However, it is always best to consult your filter’s manufacturer to see what they recommend.

For instance, some filters may need to be changed as often as every month, while others may only need to be changed once every six months. The key is to change your filter as soon as it starts to look dirty or when the manufacturer recommends.

How to clean an air filter?

The first thing you want to do is identify the type of filter you have. The most common types are pleated filters, fiberglass filters, and washable filters. Once you know what type of filter you have, you can follow the steps below to clean it.

Pleated filters

  1. First, turn off the air conditioning unit.
  2. Next you will need to remove the air filter from the air conditioner. This can be done by detaching the air conditioner’s front panel and sliding the filter out.
  3. These types of filters can be cleaned by vacuuming, so once the filter is removed, use a vacuum or cordless handheld vacuum to remove any debris from both sides of the filter.
  4. Then, use a damp cloth and some warm soapy water to wipe down each side. When you are done cleaning the filter, allow it to dry completely before replacing it in the air conditioner unit.

A pleater filter is typically a reusable air filter, so it can be cleaned and reused multiple times. However, if your filter appears to be too damaged or dirty, you may find that it’s best to replace the filter altogether. You can sometimes find a pleated disposable filter as well, which can be replaced more frequently.

Fiberglass filters

To clean a fiberglass filter, start by:

  1. Removing the air conditioning filter from the air conditioner by detaching the front panel and sliding out the filter.
  2. Next put the fiberglass filter under running water. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any dust or debris that may be clinging to the surface.
  3. Once it is rinsed, you can soak it in warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse it off again and let it air dry.

Washable filters

As the name suggests, washable filters can be cleaned by running them underwater.

  1. Start by holding the filter under running water to remove any dust or debris that may be on the surface. Just make sure that when you rinse it, you do not use any kind of cleaner as this can damage the filter.
  2. Once it is rinsed, you can soak it in warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off again and letting it air dry.

Once you have washed the air filter you can put in back in the air conditioner by following the air conditioner’s instruction manual. Make sure it is securely in place and turn on the air conditioner to check that it is working correctly.


Can you clean an air filter in AC instead of replacing it?

To clean an air conditioner filter, you can use a vacuum to remove dust and dirt. If the filter is particularly dirty, it may need to be replaced instead of cleaned. In general, air conditioner filters should be replaced every 3-6 months for optimal performance. It’s also important to keep in mind that if your AC isn’t cooling properly, cleaning or replacing the filter may not be the only issue. You should have a professional technician inspect your AC to determine the cause of any cooling problems.

Do you need a cleaning kit to clean air filters?

Yes, the right cleaning kit is necessary to keep your air filters clean. A good air filter cleaner should include a brush, vacuum and cloths for dusting. The brush can help dislodge dirt and debris from the small crevices in the filter while the vacuum can pick up large particles. Cloths are great for more gentle cleaning and mopping up spills. Make sure to check the filter manufacturer’s instructions for more specifics on how to clean your filter and use the right cleaning supplies.

How do you clean an non washable air filter?

Non-washable air filters can be vacuumed or replaced with a new one. Vacuuming the filter can help remove dirt, dust, and other debris that has gotten trapped in the fibers of the filter. Before vacuuming make sure to turn off the power to your furnace, as it could cause damage if it is running while the filter is being vacuumed.

If your filter has accumulated too much dirt and debris, it may need to be replaced with a new one. Check the air conditioner filter by holding it up to the light and looking for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any rips, tears, or other issues with the filter, it is best to replace it.

What is a HVAC system in an air conditioning unit?

Keeping an air conditioner clean the AC unit itself requires regular maintenance of the HVAC system. The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is responsible for cooling and heating the air. It includes components like the fan motor, compressor, condenser coils and expansion valve.

Cleaning these parts helps to maintain the optimum efficiency of the air conditioner and improves its performance. Regular maintenance involves checking for any signs of wear or damage, such as loose wires, rust, or dirt buildup. It is also important to clean the filters regularly in order to remove dust and debris from the air.

It may be beneficial to hire a professional technician for regular maintenance of HVAC systems in order to ensure the best performance and longevity of your AC unit.

Final thoughts

If you have any questions about how to clean or replace an air filter, be sure to consult a professional. They will be able to help you choose the right filter for your home and provide guidance on how often to change it. With their help, you can ensure that your home’s air quality is always at its best.