Just like the regular maintenance of your HVAC system, regular cleaning of the air filters in your HVAC system is equally important. But don’t worry! You don’t necessarily have to call in a technician for that, you can learn to do it yourself. This article is right about what you need to learn the skill of air filter cleaning. This article entails the importance of air filter cleaning, methods to assess the need for cleaning, types of filters and their cleaning timeline, and a step-by-step guide on cleaning the air filters.
Importance of Air Filters Cleaning
The importance of air filters cleaning can’t be emphasized enough; they play a potent role in maintaining the system’s overall efficiency and effectiveness. Here’s why you should consider cleaning your air filters:
Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):
Indoor Air Quality is what directly impacts your health. Clean Air filters are the primary reason for higher IAQ. Your air filters are responsible for capturing all the dust particles, dirt, debris, pet dander, pollen, and other pollutants that hang wildly in the air otherwise. However, continuous working of air filters can make them clogged which affects their performance. Cleaning air filters regularly ensures healthier and cleaner air.
When your air filters are dirty, it is hard for your HVAC system to work efficiently; hence, it consumes more energy to perform ideally. This increases energy consumption resulting in higher electricity bills. Cleaning air filters routinely saves both; your system efficiency and your money.
Your AC has a usual lifespan of over 10 years but dirty air filters can reduce this lifespan significantly. When your AC unit consumes an abundant amount of energy, it strains the energy of your Air conditioning unit leading to premature wear and tear. Cleaned Air Filters confirm the longevity of your system saving you from costly repairs and replacements.
You are actually investing in your health by frequently cleaning your air filters. Cleaned air filters can save you from a whole lot of health and respiratory issues like Asthma, Sneezing, Coughing, and other respiratory issues. As the cleaned air filters ensure certain removal of allergens and other airborne particles, it helps in alleviating the respiratory risk factors.
Dirty or clogged air filters are one of the main reasons for bad odor. When you don’t do a thorough cleaning of your air filters, mold starts forming on the filters causing a bad smell around the area. Moreover, bad kitchen smells, pet odors, and other unpleasant odors can be eliminated by frequently cleaning the air filters.
When should you clean your Air filter?
Now that you know the importance of cleaned air filters, you must be wondering: How will I know when to clean my air filters? Well the answer to this question isn’t black and white as the cleaning need of your air filter can depend on various factors such as:
- Number of People in Your Home
- Number of Pets in your home
- Weather Conditions in Your Hometown
- Number of people who smoke in your home
- Any plants and trees around the area
Despite these factors, you can still assess the cleaning needs of your air filters.
You can test whether your filter is dirty or not. Just hang a white piece of small clothing about 5 inches away in front of your AC vent. Let it stay there for at least an hour. Then, check the color of the sheet. If its white color has gone a bit grayish, it means that your AC filter needs cleaning. You can let it sit there for a bit more time and then assess the results for your better judgment.
Rule of Thumb:
The rule of thumb is a good old technique for checking your air filter’s condition. Remove your air filter from the vent and hold it up to the light. If you see anything through the filter clearly, it means you are good to go and you don’t have to clean your filter yet. However, if it is hard to see through the filter, it is due to clogged particles in it which means that it’s time for cleaning.
However, it is advised to clean your reusable filters after every three months. You can also conduct your HVAC system’s manual to see the cleaning period of your air filter.
Types of filters:
When discussing air filter cleaning, we can classify air filters into two groups.
- Disposable Air Filters: These filters are not meant for cleaning. When clogged with dirt and debris, you must remove these filters and replace them with a new one. It is recommended to replace these filters after every 2 months.
- Reusable/ Electrostatic/ Pleated Air Filters:These filters can be used again and again after proper cleaning. You must clean these filters after 2 or 3 months based on the accumulated dust and other pollutants. These filters are more expensive than disposable ones because they are more durable and save you money in the long run. However, these filters are less efficient. If you have to buy a reusable filter, make sure it’s the highest MERV rated for your HVAC system.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Clean AC Filters
If you’re thinking about how to clean the air conditioner filter? You can follow this effective guide to do so.
Step 1: Turn off your AC unit
When you decide to clean the air filter, the first step you have to follow is to turn off your Air conditioning unit. It will save you from any electric hazards and also prevent any circulation of dust and dirt during the cleaning process of air filter cleaning.
Step 2: Remove the Air Filter
After you’ve turned off your AC unit, remove your air filter. In order to remove the filter, open the front panel of your indoor unit and remove the filter carefully. Be mindful of not putting too much pressure while removing as it can bend the fins.
Step 3: Vacuum the Air Filter
The third step is to vacuum the air filter. You can use the vacuum with the long tube to clean any visible large clutter particles and allergens. This will remove any large buildup matter from the filter.
Step 4: Wash the Filter
After vacuuming the filter, you can wash it for better cleanup. For washing, run the filter under the sink to remove finer particles and dust mites.
You can mix an equal amount of water and vinegar and soak the air filter in it for an hour. Then rinse it with water. You can also add a small amount of dishwashing soap to the solution for efficient cleaning.
If your air filter is too big to wash in the sink. You can wash it with a water hose gently. Don’t use a pressure hose as it can damage the filter by tearing holes in it.
Step 5: Dry the Filter
After washing the air filter, dry it in the open air. Don’t refit it before it is completely dry, otherwise, it can lead to mold formation in the vents.
Step 6: Reinstate the Filter
After this whole process, now it’s time to replace it. But before that, check for any damage to the filter- any holes, or accumulated dirt. If the filter has any tearing, replace it with a new one. You can check the instructions on the AC manual about replacing air filters.
If properly followed, these guidelines are effective in cleaning your air filter. However, if you’re a novice at cleaning air filters, you might need someone’s help as your whole AC’s performance partially depends upon the Air Filters. Don’t worry! You can call us to replace your air filters and check the overall maintenance of your HVAC system. Don’t wait until your system breaks down – schedule a maintenance checkup today and experience the benefits of a well-maintained HVAC system!
In conclusion, cleaning air filters is a simple yet highly effective way to ensure clean indoor air and optimize your AC system’s efficiency. By following these steps, you’ll enjoy a healthier living environment, lower energy bills, and a longer lifespan for your HVAC system. Don’t forget to schedule professional AC maintenance in Dubai to inspect your air filters and your system thoroughly. After all, your and your AC’s health depends on it.