How Do I Clean an AC Filter?
TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra
With washable filters, you should be able to pull the filter out and rinse it in a sink or tub. If it’s disposable, then you’ll need to replace it with a new one. If using a disposable filter, make sure that it’s sized correctly for a proper and snug fit in the filter frame opening.
AC Filters That Clean up Nice
Always turn off power to the HVAC equipment before accessing the air filter.
When cleaning the filter, make sure to use a mild detergent. You can either soak it or spray it on, and then let it stand for at least 15 minutes. Next, rinse off the detergent with the water spray going in the reverse direction of the airflow arrow located on the filter frame. This prevents you from pushing the dirt deeper into the filter. Wait until the filter is completely dry before putting it back into the unit. Don’t forget to turn the power back on.
How Long Does It Take to Clean a Filter?
It won’t take much time to actually clean the filter. The more often you clean it, the easier (and faster!) it will be to remove the dust and dirt. It’s best to check the filter every 30 days or so to determine if it needs a cleaning.
You should let the filter soak for an hour if it’s moderately dirty, and up to two hours if it’s very dirty. The time it takes for a filter to dry can vary depending on things like the relative humidity in your space and how much direct sunlight it gets.
Do I Need a New AC Filter?
If upon removing the filter you discover tears, don’t worry about cleaning it. A ripped or damaged filter won’t do you much good — it’s time to buy a new filter.
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