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Here’s How You Clean the Air Filter in Your AC

One of the important steps an HVAC technician does every year during a maintenance visit is to clean the air filter in the air conditioner. (If the AC uses a permanent filter, the technician will change it for a new one.) A clean air filter helps the system work efficiently without struggling against airflow obstructions, and it also prevents damage to the inside mechanisms.

However, the air filter needs to stay clean through the rest of the summer, and it only takes about a month before excess debris and dust start to clog it up. You will need to take on the job of cleaning the filter for the rest of the season. Below, we have provided a step-by-step guide to taking care of this important job.

  • Locating the air filter is the first step, and unfortunately it is sometimes the most difficult one because air conditioners are inconsistent about its placement. The best place to start looking is on the indoor cabinet at the place where the return air duct meets the cabinet. See if you can find a slot on the intake side of the air handler; the filter will be there. If it isn’t, look inside the house behind the return air vent, since sometimes the filter is located there.
  • Remove the air filter and use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suction up clumps of fibers, lint, and dust. (Don’t run a stand-up vacuum over the filter!)
  • Take the filter outside. Use a garden hose on lower pressure to wash off the remaining debris. Direct the water from the back of the filter, since this will prevent pressure from causing the mesh fibers from distorting.
  • Lay the wet filter on a towel outdoors and let the sun dry it.
  • Only replace the filter after it dries completely.

If you have any questions, or you cannot find the filter, contact an AC professional. You can always ask to see the process during the maintenance visit, and the technician will be glad to assist you.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC offers quality air conditioning maintenance and other services in Woodstock, GA.