Can I Clean an AC Filter Instead of Replacing It?

Permanent air filters are more expensive upfront but they can save you money in the long run since you can clean them instead of replacing them. Learn how to keep your AC filter clean.

Can I Clean an AC Filter Instead of Replacing It?

Permanent air filters are more expensive initially, but they can save you money in the long run since you can clean them instead of replacing them. These filters usually have fiberglass frames, which are more durable than cardboard. Every one to three months, you can take out this filter and give it a thorough wash to remove any accumulated dust, irritants, and contaminants. It's important to know which type of filter you're using since your system works the same with both.

If you need a deeper clean, fill a sink with one part vinegar and one part warm water and let the filter soak for an hour. If the HVAC filter is only slightly dirty, rinse it thoroughly under warm running water in a sink or bathtub. You can also use an outer hose on your filter, just make sure you don't use any pressure settings as this could damage the filter. Use your hands or a soft brush to remove any remaining debris.

Other appliances that use air filters include range hood fans, vacuums, and dehumidifiers. These usually have filters that are reusable, meaning you can wash and dry them and reinsert them. The frequency of replacement will depend on the quality of the indoor air and how often the appliance is used. A good rule of thumb is to clean these filters every time you replace HVAC filters or at the same time if they are used frequently.

You should take care of your filter (whether that means changing it or simply cleaning it) at least once a month. You can do this much more often than that if you live in an area with high pollution or if you have a dusty hobby such as woodworking. In a deep sink or outdoors with the hose, rinse the filter gently and thoroughly and allow it to dry. If you need to perform a deep cleaning, immerse the filter in a flat container with 1 part white vinegar and 1 part warm water for one hour, then rinse it gently with the hose.

Some air conditioning filters aren't designed to get wet, so be sure to avoid causing any damage. For central air conditioners, you can use the same filter as the oven or a separate filter where the unit channels the cool air. 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. The air conditioner filter will eventually fill up with dust and dirt it collects from the air, preventing airflow through the filter to the air handler. Keep your home air clean, allow your air conditioning unit to work more efficiently, and help your filters last longer with these simple tips.

If you have a washable air conditioner filter and washing no longer works, it's time to buy a new AC filter. If your air conditioner works as a heat pump, you should clean or replace the filter once every three months throughout the year. Contact Ellington Air Condition& Heat at (32) 248-4838 for quick diagnosis and cleaner air solution. An HVAC air filter works to prevent dust, dirt, pollen, viruses, bacteria and contaminants from circulating throughout the house. A clean air conditioner filter can also help keep the ducts in your home clean by trapping dust and dirt that might otherwise build up inside. The pre-filter is usually reusable and traps all large major debris before the air is filtered with a finer replaceable filter.

They rely on filters to trap dirt and debris that would otherwise circulate along with fresh air. Avoid high utility bills and mechanical problems in the future by keeping your air conditioner filter clean. Different types of air filters are available nowadays; while many are disposable and cannot be cleaned, thanks to advances in technology and related efficiencies, washable air filters are more common than ever.