How to Maintain Your Home Air Conditioner Filters

Man working on an air conditioning unit
What You'll Need
Chlorine bleach
Shop vac with water and soap
Piece of wire or bottlebrush
Screwdriver to remove

In order for the air conditioner to function and last for years, home air conditioner filters should be maintained properly. Maintenance of home air conditioner filters is easy to do, requiring only a little time. Properly maintained air conditioners should function efficiently when the hot summer days come in. Aside from keeping the air conditioner functioning well, there are a number of reasons why maintaining filters is very important. Home air conditioner filters can also affect the health of those living or staying within the reach of the air conditioner. The way home air conditioner filters are maintained can considerably influence the prevention of skin disorders, allergies, and even severe respiratory problems. The following steps will help keep the air conditioner filters clean and running.

Maintenance of the Filters

Step 1 - Remove Cover

The air conditioner should be unplugged from the power supply. Once the air conditioner is unplugged, the cover should be removed. The filters are usually located to the front or back of the cover. They may also be attached in front of the coils.

Step 2 - Wash Filter

To clean the filters, wash them using warm water and soap. Drain out as much water as possible before and then dry the filters before putting them back on. A damaged or torn filter should be replaced immediately.

Step 3 - Check Coils

The evaporator coils and the cover should be wiped clean before re-installation.

Step 4 - Vacuum

Lightly vacuum the evaporator coils as well the grill. The aluminum fins on the coils tend to get damaged easily so it’s only proper to treat them delicately.

Cleaning and Flushing the Drainage System

man working on an air conditioning unit

Step 1 - Remove Drain Tube

The air conditioner’s drain tube should be removed.

Step 2 - Clean Drain Tube

Blockages and other elements may be removed from the drain tube by using bottle brush or a piece of wire. The wire or bottlebrush is usually run through the tube until it’s deemed clean.

Step 3 - Sterilize and Dry Drain Tube

The drain tube should be further cleaned using water and chlorine bleach. Wash the tube using these two components and let it dry before re-installation.

Changing Air Filters

dirty air conditioner filter

Once in a while, air conditioner filters are changed or replaced as part of the maintenance. The following steps can help change the air filters:

Find furnace and filter compartment of the air conditioner. Usually, a strip of metal covers this part. Remove the cover to get the dimensions of the air filter that requires replacing. The measure of air filters are normally placed on the side. The size of the dimensions is printed in 16x24 inches or smaller sizes.

The local hardware or specialty store should have a replacement filter available. Buy the filter replacement that fits the air conditioning system. It is best to consult with someone in the store to make sure that the right replacements are bought.

High efficiency filters are mostly recommended for places with warmer and dustier climates. These filters are highly efficient in capturing dust particles, mold, and pollen as well as other irritants.