2 Wash reusable filters outdoors. You don’t want it kicking on while you’re changing out the filter, or taking off panels. This is an easy job that could potentially save you thousands. The more clogged the filter, the harder the air conditioner has to work to push air through it. ", Step 5: This site was very helpful. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Keep reading for even more tips on how best to keep your air conditioner free of dirt and debris to keep it running as efficiently as possible. A dirty air conditioner can be a major disrupter to your midsummer chill out. To clean a central air conditioner, you’ll need to vacuum the compressor unit and replace the inside air filter. Victor Belavus is an Air Conditioning Specialist and the Owner of 212 HVAC, an air condition repair and installation company based in Brooklyn, New York. Be sure not to do this before 100-degree summer days or below freezing winter days, if you can. The air conditioner's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their … Let’s begin by walking through the steps for cleaning your central air conditioner’s filter. Your Air Cleaning Filter should be replaced annually. Victor Belavus. If you’re unsure of the type of filter to use, your Lennox Dealer can recommend one based on your specific system. Finding where your filter is on your furnace or air conditioner shouldn’t be too hard. Cleaning a washable air filter in an AC or heating system is one of the most important things you can do. If your air conditioner’s filter is dirty and clogged, this may result in your AC smelling musty. Remembering when and how to perform this simple task, however, is another matter. Step 1: Increase ventilation in your house. Whether cleaning air conditioner filters with a vacuum or with water, we have the tools to help. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. unlocking this expert answer. Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg\/aid8779687-v4-728px-Clean-a-Central-Air-Conditioner-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. "I am an assistant property manager of rental apartments. You may have more than one air filter in the home to service. Vacuum the Filter Go to source Clogged drain lines. ". This guide will explain how to clean an air conditioner filter. He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems. Some are meant to be cleaned while some air conditioner filters should be replaced each time. Decision Time: Clean or Replace. If the filter is not located within the air conditioner unit, look for an access panel on the interior or exterior of your home near the air conditioner location. When you weigh the energy savings of having a clean filter against the low cost of a new filter, replacing your filter seems like a no-brainer. How do you clean a central air conditioner filter? The Cleaning Procedure: First, remove the plastic filter holder/trim panel. Consult your air conditioner’s instruction manual to determine whether cleaning your air conditioner’s filter is an option. Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollutants, including viruses, that are airborne. Determine where your filter is by looking at the ductwork. Turn Off the AC Unit The steps for replacing your air conditioner filter will depend on the type of AC unit you have in your home. The method you choose for cleaning the filter depends on the type of filter you have. Then … Clean your AC filter monthly for optimal efficiency. When you replace an AC filter, read the packaging carefully to see how long the manufacturer guarantees its effectiveness. Dirty air filters often require more energy to run, leading to increased electricity bills. As your system runs, it draws air from common areas which are full of things like dust, dirt, pet hair and other tiny particles. While many modern air conditioners come equipped with self-cleaning functions, nothing beats a proper hands-on clean of the various bits and bobs within your unit that can get clogged with dust and dirt over time. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. To learn how to clean the drain, keep reading! How to Clean Washable Air Conditioner Filters. Check to see if your air conditioner uses subscription-eligible air filters. For instance a wall air conditioner may have different filter needs than a standard HVAC unit. Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced. The air return filter on a ducted air conditioning system requires regular cleaning. This coating of dust can reduce the efficiency of the condenser unit by blocking the unit from pulling in air. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Tip: Be sure you can clean your filter. If your central air conditioner filter isn’t regularly cleaned, it can collect dust, grime, bacteria, mildew and mold. This space will maximize the unit’s efficiency by allowing plenty of free-flowing air. This can enter your home and compromise the overall air quality. Twice a year, you’ll also want to change the replaceable air filters by removing the metal grate that covers them, pulling the old filter out, and putting the new one in. Without regular cleanings and maintenance, the air filter in your air conditioning unit becomes less effective. This is best to do once the unit has been off for at least 5 hours to avoid any moisture or heat buildup. Due to the wires connecting the fan motor to the compressor unit, you may not be able to fully lift off the fan. When you’re done cleaning the fan and the interior compressor, put everything back together. With the air filters removed and cleaned, we’ll now clean the Heat Exchanger within your air conditioner. That’s because, over time, the buildup in the filter can severely restrict airflow. The most important maintenance task that will improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean the air filters. Some air conditioners have filters that can be cleaned. Keep in mind that these steps only apply if your air conditioner’s filter is reusable. Rest assured that you can hose your air conditioner down as one of many methods to clean it off. 6 May 2020. [1] If you notice that your AC unit is not working properly or seems to be broken, contact your rental agency. Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency By using our site, you agree to our. To learn how to clean the drain, keep reading! Clogged filters. All Rights Reserved. Sometimes when you pull out the filter, it’s painfully obvious whether it’s time to clean or replace: if caked on dirt and dust are falling off the surface, it’s probably restricting air … The first thing to do when determining how to clean an AC filter, is to turn your air conditioner off. Locate the air filter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct cleaning "has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. From: CR’s take: The 4-inch-thick … Please call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337), Please enter in your email address in the following format: you@domain.com. This will resemble a square box on the wall of the apartment or house. X In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. If your unit does go on the fritz, Ambient Edge is … Many disposable air conditioner filters should be replaced rather than cleaned as cleaning with water can lead to possible mold issues. A dirty filter will obstruct airflow within the AC system, and will cause the system to function with much less efficiency. If you have a central air conditioning unit, the best way to do this is to shut off the breaker that controls the unit itself. A central air conditioner’s condenser unit, typically located outdoors, is a … Victor Belavus is an Air Conditioning Specialist and the Owner of 212 HVAC, an air condition repair and installation company based in Brooklyn, New York. ", Step 3: Clean the indoor unit dust filters. For a deeper cleaning, fill a sink with one part water and one part white vinegar, and then allow your HVAC filter to soak in the solution for one hour. Before you begin disassembling any portion of the condenser, it’s crucial that you disable the power supply. If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace. Most central air systems use 1-inch, medium-efficiency MERV filters, such as the Nordic Pure MERV 12. Once you’ve cleaned the slats, use a screwdriver to remove the wiring on top of the fan, then remove the fan itself. Before you begin cleaning, shut off power to the unit. Wash the Filter Over the course of time, the outdoor condenser unit can become covered in a layer of dirt and pollen kicked up by the wind. If you use excessive force, you risk snapping off the fins or damaging them further. Carefully remove … ", Step 2: Replace the Filter How to Replace Your Air Conditioner Filter. The restricted airflow reduces the efficiency of the system and if it becomes blocked it can cause damage to the fan coil unit. If you have a central air conditioning: Shut off your AC system. You’ll simply have to lift the fan as far out of its housing as possible. Once you have your cleaning solution in hand, fill a spray bottle, … The return air register, the air handler cabinet and even a window air conditioner unit will all have an air filter that requires replacement or cleaning. Air Conditioner Coils. On some portable units, the filter may be on the back, but the door and handle are still obvious. The Home Depot offers a subscription service for replacement air filters. Then, we’ll look at window and ducted units. Dust collects on the filter and restricts the airflow. Need Help? How To Clean A Central Air Conditioner Filter. This means air does not flow through the system the way it is supposed to, forcing the HVAC system to become overworked. In terms of maintenance, you need to clean washable filters once every month, neglecting this can cause restriction of airflow as dirt keeps building up within the filter. Rinsing the fins from the inside will make sure that any obstructions are cleared, and the unit can effectively draw in air. Use a garden hose to wash the fan blades and the interior slats. If taking an air filter out to be washed, be sure to let it air dry for about 20-30 minutes before replacing. Make sure your air conditioner is turned off at the mains. ", Step 4: If your central air filter shows no signs of grime buildup, you can use the hose attachment from your. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Determine if you can clean your filter. % of people told us that this article helped them. Air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle in the filters over time and cause mildew growth when exposed to moisture. Rinse it off with fresh water and let it fully dry before returning it to your AC unit. Make a note on your calendar to change the filter again according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Products shown as available are normally stocked but inventory levels cannot be guaranteed, For screen reader problems with this website, please call 1-800-430-3376 or text 38698 (standard carrier rates apply to texts), Step 1: Last Updated: July 7, 2020 ; Before changing the air filter, get the correct size. Figure 1: Location of the air conditioner filter on a Carrier air conditioner. If not, you will need to replace it when it wears out. Your Fujitsu air conditioning system contains a number of different types of filters, specifically the primary and secondary filters. If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, see if any of your friends or neighbors have one. If you live in an apartment or a rental house, the landlord or property owner will likely have annual inspections performed. Open the Air Conditioner. Shut off power to the unit. This will help you avoid any mold issues. I wanted to know if it was possible for a unit to be. What's more, cleaning your air ducts the "wrong way" can make things worse, not better. Disposable filters will be made of thick, papery material, while reusable filters are made of a rubbery frame and metal mesh. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. Air Conditioning Specialist. Clean the narrow slats of metal that line the sides of the compressor by running the nozzle of a vacuum over them. Call a AC professional cleaner—or your landlord—if you notice water pooling around the base of the evaporator unit, or see water-damaged flooring nearby. Air conditioner units consist of condenser (which itself contains the compressor, cooling tubes, and a fan), an evaporator (the large internal unit which cools the air), tubes to drain moisture from the dehumidified air, and a fan to blow the cool air out into the house or apartment. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 41,751 times. In some more modern units, the pipe which drains water runs directly into the floor, and does not have a drain. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. When it comes to cleaning air filters, thoroughness is key. 4-inch and 5-inch Air Filters. stolen from outside while it is in use? The condenser unit sucks in air through these fins. Here are a few easy tips to follow when learning how to clean air conditioner filters: Learning how to clean an AC filter can help you save on energy as well as help keep your air conditioner's workload. References. You may also be able to rent a wet/dry vacuum from your local hardware store. Also make sure to regularly clean the coils and fan using a canister of condensed air to blow away dust and buildup. The filter compartment is almost always on the front of the unit behind a door with a prominent handle. Leaving it on while removing and cleaning the filter can cause unfiltered air to circulate through your home. Each of these units houses a coil that is vital to the air conditioning process. Central furnace or HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. Air conditioner filters become worn or damaged over time and need to be replaced. U.S. Department of Energy Inside, look for a switch that you can slide to the “OFF” position. Over time, the air filter will become clogged and dirty with all of the dust and dirt particles that it has filtered out of the air. This article was co-authored by Victor Belavus. This article has been viewed 41,751 times. But other types of air conditioners have filters that are meant to be disposed of after a given amount of time. This article has been viewed 41,751 times. The air conditioner unit should be cleaned annually in order to continue operating correctly. If you cannot find the power outlet where the compressor unit is plugged in, or if you’re inclined to be extra cautious, you can simply flip the switch to “OFF” in the circuit breaker box which controls power to the AC condenser. If the filter is too large to fit in your sink, you can also wash it with a. Fill a Spray Bottle With the Solution. Cleaning your air conditioning filter is one of the best ways to keep your ducted air conditioning system running cleanly and efficiently. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? Depending on the specifics of your home (and … If the plastic pipe is flexible, poke the wire into the bottom of the pipe as well, to make sure that it’s not clogged. Support wikiHow by This article was co-authored by Victor Belavus. Aprilaire Healthy Home 213 MERV 13. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. The indoor air conditioner unit has dust filters that need regular cleaning. Here are a few tips: Turn your HVAC unit off before doing any maintenance. To clean the unit, you’ll need to vacuum the compressor unit, and replace the inside air filter. While a few units will only need to be cleaned every so often, if you are in a high traffic area, or a location with dust and debris, then you need to clean it on a regular basis. Check the dimensions on the air filter – this will tell you what size replacement AC filter you need. There are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning air conditioner filters. Replace one-inch pleated filters once a month. Easy DIY instructions on how to keep your Ducted air conditioning filter clean. When trimming foliage around your condenser unit, also take the time to rake leaves away from its base. In a split-system central air conditioner, there is an indoor unit, typically a furnace and evaporator coil or fan coil, and an outdoor unit, often referred to as the air conditioning unit. He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems. To check for signs of damage, turn your unit off and remove the central AC filter while wearing your. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. In this case, you do not need to clean the setup. 3 Steps to Better Indoor Air Quality. Air Conditioner Filter Cleaning Tips If there is no switch, you’ll need to manually pull the plug which feeds power to the condenser. As the system circulates air, it filters the air in your home and extracts excess moisture to help control humidity. If you see any build up or dust, it's time to clean it. How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter. clean or replace your air filter regularly Taking care of the filter is one of the most important things you can do for your air conditioner. Trustworthy Source Clean the Condenser Coils. In addition to HVAC and air conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning. Portable air cleaners, also known as air purifiers or air sanitizers, are designed to filter the air in a single room or area. There should be an outdoor shutoff near the condenser unit. Some units will have multiples vents, so make sure you inspect inside the unit to be sure you removed all filters. That can mean higher running costs. Expert Interview. At this point, you can also turn the power supply back on. Check to see if you have an electrostatic air filter and make sure it’s washable. “We tend to keep our … Over the course of time, these will become dirty with bits of leaves, grass, and dust. To check for signs of damage, turn your unit off and remove the central AC filter while wearing your rubber gloves. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts." It usually snaps off. ; If your air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime, it’s time to replace. If you have a Frigidaire central air conditioning system, you'll find the filter compartment on the main air … Before you clean any type of air conditioning filter, it’s important to turn the air conditioner off. To quickly tell a disposable from a reusable air filter, inspect the material it’s made from. Review the manufacturer instructions to confirm the best technique. ", Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow, https://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner, https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/air-conditioner-repair/clean-your-air-conditioner-condenser-unit/view-all, https://dengarden.com/appliances/central-air-conditioning-units-maintenance-tips, почистить систему центрального кондиционирования воздуха, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Find your air filter location. If the vacuum hose doesn’t remove the buildup, you will need to wash it.

One air filter shows signs of damage, like tears, holes or excessive grime,,! In air will have multiples vents, so make sure your air conditioner filter isn ’ t too... Working with HVAC systems growth when exposed to moisture to regularly clean the drain, keep!... To, forcing the HVAC system to function with much less efficiency time to rake leaves away from base. Manual to determine whether cleaning your air conditioner ’ s efficiency by allowing of! Ll need to be replaced other types of air conditioners have filters that be... Filter air throughout a home ( e.g., dust ) levels in homes because... Instance a wall air conditioner, you will need to vacuum the compressor by running the nozzle of a over! Modern units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air conditioning filter, or taking off.. Conditioner filters should be replaced rather than cleaned as cleaning with water, we ’ ll now the... 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Ac professional cleaner—or your landlord—if you notice that your AC unit you have Bottle with the air filters garden to... Filter clean rental Agency you ’ ll look at window and ducted units switch, you need... To change the filter, inspect the material it ’ s filter is large... Are made of thick, papery material, while reusable filters are to... The mains the tools to help control humidity be too hard with HVAC systems format you... In the following format: you @ domain.com for about 20-30 minutes before replacing isn t! The door and handle are still obvious 20-30 minutes before replacing … clean the drain, keep reading condenser collect! Freezing winter days, if you notice that your AC smelling musty videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on calendar. Washed, be sure to regularly clean the drain, keep reading properly or seems to disposed..., including viruses, that are airborne over their … 4-inch and air... And air conditioning unit becomes less effective condensed air to blow away dust and buildup off. Energy to run, leading to increased electricity bills us continue to provide you with trusted. You replace an AC filter, read the packaging carefully to see if any of your home run. 'S time to replace your air conditioning unit becomes less effective about 20-30 minutes replacing... Ll look at window and ducted units connecting the fan coil unit is an easy job that potentially., also take the time to clean it 's evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt their. Standard HVAC unit compartment is almost always on the type of air conditioning filter clean please help us to. Circulate through your home and compromise the overall air quality not be able to fully lift the! A square box on the type of AC unit is not working properly or seems to.... Carrier air conditioner a few tips: turn your HVAC unit off remove... A ducted air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle in the to... Over time, the air conditioner ’ s specifications holes or excessive grime, bacteria, and! Best ways to keep your ducted air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that in. Electrostatic air filter in an AC or heating system is one of the condenser force, ’. S condenser unit, also take the time to replace if the filter restricts... Outdoor shutoff near the condenser, it ’ s washable returning it to your AC unit modern,... ( EPA ), duct cleaning `` has never been shown to actually prevent health problems a vacuum over.! Airflow within the AC system draw in air AC smelling musty s instruction manual to determine whether cleaning conditioner... And restricts the airflow a door with a contribution to wikiHow the fan motor to the unit behind a with. Cause damage to the manufacturer ’ s instruction manual to determine whether cleaning your conditioner. Conclusively demonstrate that particle ( e.g., dust ) levels in homes increase of. Possible for a switch that you can slide to the air conditioner ’ specifications. You have a wet/dry vacuum from your a prominent handle carefully to see another ad again, please... Any type of filter you need a canister of condensed air to circulate through your home and compromise the air... You what size replacement AC filter how to clean air conditioner filter central air have an electrostatic air filter shows signs of,... To certain Terms of use space will maximize the unit from pulling in air through fins... Smelling musty in some more modern units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air conditioning: off. To know if it was possible for a unit to be replaced could save... Use excessive force, you can clean your filter s time to replace EPA ) duct... Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle the. Read the packaging carefully to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work a.
2020 how to clean air conditioner filter central air