If your central air filter doesn't show any signs of dirt buildup, you can use the hose attachment on your vacuum or a handheld vacuum to remove any debris. If you've noticed dust or stains on your air conditioner filters, you can clean them with a vacuum or warm water in the bathtub. To clean with a handheld vacuum, be sure to carefully run it over the entire surface of the filter. Make sure all dust and particles have been completely removed. Using a vacuum is the easiest way to clean your unit.
While this isn't ideal for deep cleaning, it's sufficient for surface cleaning and is perfect for cleaning internal parts of the system without completely disassembling them. The downside of these filters is that they have a recurring cost, which can be expensive depending on the number of returns in your home and the quality of the filter you use. Cleaning or replacing a washable type air conditioner filter once a month (or twice during heavy use seasons) should keep quality and energy use under control. When a filter is dirty, it forces the air conditioner to work harder to push air through its clogged fibers, using more energy and thus shortening its lifespan. Filters trap dirt and debris that would otherwise circulate along with fresh air.
On the other hand, not cleaning the air conditioner filter will increase the amount of dust, dirt, and allergens around your home. Make sure the arrows are facing away from you, and then return the air cleaner to its original position. This is especially important for window air conditioners, as it will work close to the moving parts of the air conditioner, whereas other types of units are quite distant from where the filter is. You can also invest in a quality filter, as basic filters can remove dust and bacteria, but higher-quality filters can also remove allergens and other harmful airborne toxins. Whether you choose a disposable or reusable air filter, changing it regularly is vital for maintaining your air conditioning unit.
Air conditioners work by filtering air and circulating refrigerants through various internal and external components. Some air conditioning filters aren't designed to get wet, so you'll want to avoid causing damage. The filter in your central air conditioner plays an important role in keeping your indoor air clean and fresh. Experts recommend changing the air conditioner filter every 3 to 6 months, depending on how much you use it. Cleaning the central air conditioner filter helps the unit consistently produce cool air and keep your home's air fresh and healthy. A clogged AC filter can trap cold air inside the air conditioning unit, preventing it from circulating through the ducts to your home.
Victor Belavus is an air conditioning specialist and owner of 212 HVAC, an air conditioning repair and installation company based in Brooklyn, New York.