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How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

The arrival of warm weather can make you think about your air conditioner for the first time since last season. If you live in the Delaware Valley or at the Jersey Shore, scheduling seasonal maintenance performed by a professional technician from Oliver is always a good idea. Our annual 19-point inspection is the best way to catch potential problems before they begin. However, you can learn how to clean an air conditioner filter yourself. In fact, you may want to do it monthly to promote optimal performance.

Clean Air Conditioner Filters Offer Greater Efficiency

An air conditioner filter collects dust, spores, pollen, dander, and pet fur as air circulates. Excess accumulations on the filter gradually choke airflow and will strain your air conditioning system. By learning how to clean an air conditioner filter and regularly performing the steps, you help the cooling process. When the filter is clean, air can flow properly. If you notice your filter is very dirty, your equipment was already under prolonged strain. Contacting the experts at Oliver to inspect your system could help you catch issues before they lead to a full-blown breakdown.

Air Conditioner Filter Tips How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

  1. Mark your calendar when you replace your air conditioner filter so that you can track its age.
  2. Check the filter manufacturer’s directions before assuming you can clean it. Not all filters are washable.
  3. Do not run your air conditioner without a filter.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Rubber gloves
  • Vacuum with hose attachment (or handheld vacuum)
  • Garden hose
  • Cleaning rags

How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter Step by Step

  1. Turn off the air conditioner at the thermostat.
  2. With disposable filters write the date you change it on the filter itself.
  3. Put on gloves and mask and locate air conditioner filter.
  4. If needed, use a screwdriver to access the filter.
  5. Remove the air conditioner filter and inspect it.
  6. If you see tears, holes, or heavy layers of dirt, replacing it is the best option.
  7. If the filter is reusable, prepare to vacuum it.
  8. We recommend taking it outside in a plastic bag to avoid spreading dust in the house.
  9. Knock loose dust off with your gloved hand or a rag.
  10. Use the vacuum hose attachment to suck dirt directly out of the filter.
  11. Vacuum both sides of the filter.
  12. If your washable filter fits into a sink, fill the sink with water and white vinegar mixed at a 1:1 ratio.
  13. For a big filter too bulky for a sink, you may spray it with a garden hose. Do not use a pressure washer or pressurized nozzle.
  14. After wiping and rinsing off excess dirt, allow the air conditioner filter to dry completely.
  15. Return the filter to its proper location. Be sure to check the arrow for proper placement. It should point towards the motor.
  16. Reset the thermostat.

Benefits of Professional Air Conditioning Maintenance

Knowing how to clean an air conditioner filter only scratches the surface of the air conditioner maintenance you need. When you sign up for our maintenance plan, the A/C technicians at Oliver perform a 19-point inspection while cleaning all components, including the condenser coil and evaporator. Seasonal maintenance reduces wear and tear on the system. To protect your investment, contact Oliver today.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

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