Can You Clean and Reuse an AC Filter?

Learn how to clean an AC filter so you can reuse it instead of replacing it every few months! Find out what type of filter you have & how often you should clean it.

Can You Clean and Reuse an AC Filter?

Washable air conditioning filters are very easy to clean and maintain, unlike disposable filters. Homeowners should note that both reusable and disposable air filters are available. With reusable air filters, they can be cleaned and replaced in the air conditioner. Careful and thorough cleaning of these filters is a must, as the owner must ensure that the filter is reusable.

Playing guessing games can be disastrous. However, the disposable filters you use in your HVAC system aren't meant to shed water after they get wet. The moisture that the filter retains can encourage mold growth over time, and the HVAC system could spread mold spores throughout the rest of the house. Plus, wetting a disposable filter makes it much less effective, so you'll see decreases in energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Home air conditioning systems require regular maintenance to continue operating efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, the most frequent maintenance item (changing or washing the filter) is easy for homeowners to do on their own. If your air conditioner has a reusable filter, you may wonder what is the best way to clean it to make sure it isn't clogged with dirt and debris. Every one to three months, you can remove this filter and wash it thoroughly to remove accumulated dust, irritants, and contaminants.

Although your system works the same with both types of filters, it's important to know which one you're using. The filters are for single use only. After about three months, you'll need to change it to a new one - the only exception is reusable air filters. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer and ask where the AC filter is located and if your system uses more than one.

The air conditioner filter will eventually fill with dust and dirt that build up from the air, preventing airflow through the filter to the air handler. Particles will create a barrier in the air filter and prevent air from passing through, which could damage your HVAC system or make it less efficient. If you have allergies or receive high energy bills in the mail, this is a clear sign that you need to clean or replace your air filter. First, the filter protects the air conditioning unit by filtering dirt and dust that would otherwise clog the air controller and force your air conditioning unit to work harder to cool the air.

Removing a washable type air conditioner filter once a month (or twice during heavy use seasons) and evaluating it for cleaning or replacement should keep quality and energy use under control. If your air conditioner works as a heat pump, you should clean or replace the filter once every three months throughout the year. The disadvantage of reusable 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. Contact Ellington Air Condition& Heat at (32) 248-4838 for quick diagnosis and cleaner air solution.

If your reusable filters don't seem to work properly in your system, refer to Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC Guide and Services.