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An air conditioner is a blessing in sweltering months. However, after a certain time, you’ll notice that the quality of the air falls. Mostly this is due to a clogged-up filter.
An air conditioner works by taking in all the air present in the room and then passing it through the filter to cool it. Filters acquire dirt and grime as they constantly keep the air moving. Over the months, mold begins to show up. This raises a serious health issue and compromises the well-being of the user.
Since the dirt collected by the filter has no other place to go, it also blocks the path for new air to pass through. Your AC then has to put in double efforts to provide you with the best performance it can. This translates heavily on your pockets, in the form of electricity bills.
Ideally, you should clean the filter out once before summer and twice in the month when it’s in constant use. Filters are of two types, the washable and the disposable kind. The disposable one needs to be replaced by a new filter, while you can follow the steps listed below to clean out the washable one.
What You Will Need:
- Air conditioner filter
- Vacuum cleaner
- Large bucket
- Lukewarm water
- Liquid detergent
- Spray bottle
How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter
Step 1: Remove the Filter
Switch off the electrical supply to your AC when cleaning out the filter. The filter is the blockade between the inner machinery of your AC and the dust outside. Using your AC without the filter may lead to the collection of dust deep within the unit and its ultimate degradation.
To remove the filter, first, determine its location. Filters are usually placed along the length of the duct and are quite accessible. To remove them, look at the kind of fastening system used. You might be able to pop out the filter or slide them out depending on the type.
Some filters are adjoined with screws, so loosen those up to remove the filter.
Step 2: Vacuum the Dirt
Once the filter is removed, take it into an open space for the next steps. The reason is that filters have a lot of particulate matter, which might disturb the residents in the space around you. It is advisable to wear a mask if you have a particularly delicate respiratory system.
Use a vacuum cleaner to lift off the dust on the filter. If you still see some grime on the filter after vacuuming, move on to the next step.
For most routine cleanings, vacuuming the filter is more than enough. However, for a much deeper cleanse once in a while, read on ahead.
Step 3: Submerge the Filter in Detergent Water
Fill a larger container with water and mix some detergent in. Submerge the filter into this solution and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Do not use abrasive cleaning tools to get the dirt off the filter, as it will damage the filter.
Another alternative to this method is to hose down the filter. This is especially helpful if you have large filters that cannot be submerged. Hose down one side completely before turning it around. follow the same process on both sides till you cannot see dirt anymore.
Step 4: Use Vinegar Spray
Vinegar is a great cleaner that will disinfect your filter without destroying its fibers. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz this solution over the filter after it has been cleaned out.
This step is necessary to remove the colonies of bacteria that might have taken root on the filter. These are invisible to the naked eye but can lead to serious health issues. Vinegar will eliminate these harmful agents and as a bonus, lend a pleasant hygienic scent to the filter.
Step 5: Air Dry the Filter
After everything is done, leave the filter out to air dry. Do not immediately put it back on after the cleaning is done. The filter needs to be bone dry before it can resume its function again. Use newspapers to avoid direct contact of the filter with the ground.
There you have it, a clean filter. This will make your AC more efficient, put less strain on your wallet, and even lesser risk to your health. Be sure to read your AC’s manual thoroughly before cleaning the filter, to make sure that it does not involve any unforeseen complications. Modern ACs also come with a self-clean function, that cleans the filter through a brush attached to the unit. Be conscious to turn it on after regular periods.
If your filter shows signs of wear and tear, it will be in your best interests to get it replaced with a new one. Enjoy your cleaner, healthier, and more economical air!