It’s important to clean air conditioner filters in the AC unit in your home or office. Poorly maintained filters not only hurt the energy efficiency of your entire unit, but also greatly affect the quality of the air you breathe.
You may be thinking that the severity of this is being overstated, but consider the actual structure and function of your air conditioner filters. Filters serve to keep the air conditioner components clean, and over a lifetime of heavy use, they accumulate a huge build up of dirt, pathogens, and allergens.
A good cleaning is recommended at least twice a month and should be one that involves more than just running the filters under water. Here’s a simple guide to get your filters clean and help you maintain a healthy living environment.
Step 1 - Open the Air Conditioner
Make sure your air conditioner is turned off at the mains.
Carefully remove the air conditioner components. You may have to use a screwdriver to dislodge fitted screws.
Step 2 - Remove Filters
Remove the filters from the air conditioner.
First and foremost, inspect them for any overt signs of wear and tear. If you spot any rips or snags, don’t even bother with the cleaning; you’re better off replacing the filters as continuing to use them when worn out will hamper efficiency.
Step 3 - Vacuum
If your filters don't need to be replaced from tears, use a vacuum to get rid of any accumulated dirt and grime. Be as thorough as you can for effective cleaning results. Be careful however, as you do not want to puncture or tear the filter because, as stated above, tears render the filter inefficient.
Step 4 - Sanitize the Filters
Fill a basin with equal portions of water and vinegar. Make sure that whatever vessel you use is large enough so that the filters will be totally submerged when placed inside. The vinegar will kill harmful bacteria and allergens that may have accumulated in the filters.
Step 5 - Soak
Allow the filters adequate time to soak in the cleaning solution. If you have not cleaned the filters recently, leave them for about four hours to get properly sanitized. However, if the filters have only been used moderately or have been recently cleaned, soak for one hour.
Step 6 - Drain
Remove the air conditioning filters from the cleaning solution and allow the mixture to drain off. Do not rinse the filters because doing so will reverse the effects of the sanitizing process. You can place them onto an old, clean towel so that any excess solution is absorbed by the towel.
Step 7 - Dry
Allow the filters to dry naturally while still on the towel. It is best to place the towel outside in the yard or wherever some sunshine is available to facilitate effective drying.
Step 8 - Fit the Filters
Fit back the filters into the air conditioner and replace the air conditioner components.
You can now enjoy cleaner, more breathable air.