For more homeowners, it is common to have an HVAC system that uses a disposable air filter. It needs to be replaced after a few months of use, and you simply toss it in the trash and put in a new one. However, some HVAC systems allow you to use an air filter that is washable. You'll save money on buying replacement filters, but you'll need to clean the filter on your own. If you're getting an air conditioning replacement with a washable filter, here are a few tips for cleaning it.
Removing The Filter
The first step will be locating the air filter. You can look up this information in the user's manual, which should tell you exactly how to access the filter. Even without a user's manual, it should be easy to find. It's typically located within the HVAC system blower unit, which is where the air passes through before going through your ductwork. Units that have an air conditioner and furnace will have one along the lower half of the furnace.
Make sure that you turn off the HVAC system before removing the air filter. You do not want the system to operate while you have the filter removed for cleaning.
Cleaning Off Dust
It's a good idea to remove as much dust as you can with a vacuum cleaner. You can use a wand attachment to suck up as much dust as possible for each side of your air filter. Just make sure to not press hard against the air filter material since you do not want to create a hole or bend it by accident.
Rinsing The Filter
You may think your vacuum did a great job, but there is likely dust that could not be removed. You'll need to rinse the filter off under some water. If there is visible dust still in the filter after rinsing it, know that you can use a brush to gently rub the filter. Try using a toothbrush that you don't use anymore since it will be very small with soft bristles.
Shake off the filter when finished, then let it dry for about 10 minutes. The filter can still be moist when inserting it back inside the blower unit, but it shouldn't be dripping with water. Power the air conditioner on again, and you'll be good to go for several months until the filter needs to be cleaned again.
If you are having a new HVAC system installed with a washable filter, be sure to have the HVAC contractor show you how to remove the filter before they finish the installation.