Please welcome today’s guest writer, Albert Krav.
How to Clean Your Window Air Conditioning Unit’s, Air Filter
Since many people own an air conditioning unit, learning how to care and maintain yours should be a top priority. Everything from HVAC coils and water pans to thermistors and dual run capacitors should be checked on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most people think that taking care of their unit is too complex, so they don’t maintain it properly and end up with many problems.
The air conditioner’s air filter is an especially important piece that needs to be considered. If you want to ensure your air conditioning unit lasts for a long time, read on to learn how to clean your air conditioner’s air filter.
What an Air Filter Does
Air filters are an essential part of your unit because they prevent dirt and contaminants from permeating your home. The filter removes these particles and keeps the air stream and air conditioning system clean. As the filter does its job, it gets clogged with the dirt and particles that it stops from entering your air and eventually, airflow is reduced.
If the filter isn’t changed on a regular basis, it starts to become another source of pollution, adding to the natural contaminants in your area. It’s recommended that you change or clean your air filter about once a month to prevent clogging and poor air circulation.
How to Clean the Filter
Before you start cleaning, you should check your manual to ensure you know what to expect inside the air conditioner and to discover the exact location of the air filter. Once you’re familiar with the interior of the air conditioning unit, gently remove the front grille. If you’ve never opened the unit, you may need to use a butter knife to pop it out of place.
After opening the unit, take out the filter, usually located right behind the grille. Then, wash the filter in a mixture of warm water and dish soap or white vinegar. This mixture disinfects the filter and kills any mold that might be growing on it. When the filter has soaked for several minutes, scrub it lightly with a plastic bristle brush to remove any leftover debris and then rinse the filter in the water once more.
While you’re cleaning your filter, you may want to inspect it for any damage. While holes and tears are unlikely, sometimes insects get in and damage the equipment. Before you place the filter back in the unit, wash the outside vents and surrounding areas where dirt and dust are collecting and allow it to dry. Now, you can simply put everything back into place; first the filter and then the grille.
While you should not need to clean your air conditioner thoroughly very frequently, the air filter and its surrounding areas should be washed about once every month. If you have a pet or there is a lot of dust in your home, cleaning should be more frequent, especially if anyone in your household has allergies, as these can be exacerbated by a dirty air filter.
Though you may not like having to add to your list of chores, clean your air filter to improve the quality of your air, cut down on allergies, and improve your health.
Albert Krav is an HVAC specialist and a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience in the HVAC field, he has worked with countless clients in repairing and tending to their heating and A/C related issues. When he is not busy servicing households across Southern California, he likes to write informative articles.