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Steps in Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Filters

Steps in Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Filters

Cleaning the air filter is one of the simplest and most important ways to protect your HVAC system. Without the air filter, specs of dirt and dust will adhere to the operating unit. And if your units are dirty, it could lead to nightmare, from inefficiency to fire. Hence, don’t overlook the necessary steps to clean your air conditioner filters.

A thorough cleaning (more than just running the air filters under water) is recommended at least two times a month. Here are the steps in cleaning your air filter.

Open the AC.

First, don’t forget to turn the power to the unit off. Remove the components of the air conditioning unit slowly. Use a screwdriver in dislodging fitted screws.

Remove the filter from the unit.

After removing the filter, check for any indications of wear and tear. If you notice snags or snips, cleaning the filter may not be a good idea at all. You better off to replace the air filter to keep the unit operating efficiently. For air filter replacement, you can call on a professional contractor in your area.


If the air filter is still in good shape, and just needs cleaning, you may use a vacuum to remove the accumulated grime and dirt. Clean as thorough as possible for effective result. However, be careful not to tear or puncture the air filer. One caveat: don’t use hose nozzles or high pressure sprayers because they can damage the air filter.


After vacuuming, sanitize the filter. Fill a basic with vinegar and water of equal portion. Regardless of the vessel you use, be sure that the filter will be completely submerged. The vinegar will eliminate harmful allergens and bacteria and other forms of dirt that may have accumulated in there.


Soak the air filter in a cleaning solution. If you haven’t cleaned your filter recently, leave it for four hours for effective sanitizing. However, if you have recently done a good cleaning to the filter, soaking it for an hour may do.

Drain off.

Take the filters from the cleaning solution and let the mixture drain off. Don’t think of rinsing the air filter because it will reverse the effect of the sanitizing step. Just put them into a clean spare towel, so it will absorb the excess solution.


While the air filter is on the towel, allow enough time to dry. Put the towel somewhere under the sun for maximum drying.

Fit back the filter.

When the filter is completely dry, fit it back to the AC unit and replace the components when necessary.

Whether you don’t have time to clean your AC or you just don’t want to mess up your hands, you can tap a professional HVAC contractor to do the job for you. A trusted HVAC professional is capable of thoroughly cleaning your unit. Aside from that, he can also diagnose your filter and other components to determine any potential need for repair or replacement.