March 17, 2021

One of the most common questions that homeowners in Davenport and surrounding areas ask our experts is how they can save money on their utility bills. Running your AC with a clean filter can save you a significant amount of money each month. Your HVAC system circulates air to keep your home cool in the summer. The air is pushed through a filter to trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other particles in the fibers of the filter. Over time, the fibers are filled with particles, and airflow is less efficient. As a result, less cooled air reaches each room of your home, and your cooling system runs longer to maintain the desired temperature.How to clean an air conditioner filter

Benefits of a Clean AC Filter

Having a clean air filter in your air conditioning system has many benefits, such as:

  • Shorter AC run times
  • Lower utility bills
  • Better indoor air quality
  • Fewer repairs caused by wear and tear
  • Longer lifetime of the equipment

Can All AC Filters Be Cleaned?

The filters in your HVAC system should be replaced every six months. You may need to change your filters more often in some situations, such as having allergies or after a high pollen season in Florida. Most filters, though, can be cleaned, and we recommend that you clean your filters every 30 days. You will still need to replace the filters after six months, but cleaning them helps your system run efficiently.

1. Remove the Filter

You’ll need to remove the filter from the air conditioner of your HVAC system. You should not try to clean the filter while it is mounted in the system. Before you open the AC unit to access the filter, shut off the power to the unit at the circuit breaker. After removing the filter, look it over to make sure that it isn’t torn or damaged. If it is, you should replace it rather than clean it.

2. Vacuum the Filter

You can remove quite a bit of the particles inside the filter with a vacuum cleaner. Use the upholstery brush and a light touch. You don’t want to damage the filter.

3. Soak the Filter

There will still be particles, such as bacteria, mold spores, and viruses, attached to the filter after you vacuum it. Fill a bathtub with water and add one to two cups of vinegar to destroy these harmful particles. Let the filter soak for a few hours. Pull the filter out of the water, and let it drip dry. Do not rinse the filter.

4. Vacuum the Filter Again

After the filter is dry, use the vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining particles. Make sure that the filter is completely dry before vacuuming it. Damp filters rip easily.

5. Install the Filter in the AC Unit

Before you put the clean AC filter back into the unit, remove any visible dust from the equipment. Install the filter into the unit. Double-check that you are installing the filter properly. There should be an arrow to indicate which side of the filter needs to face inward.

When Replacing a Filter Is the Best Option

In some cases, a filter is so dirty that it cannot be effectively cleaned. Signs that it’s time to replace your filter are:

  • Higher than normal utility bills
  • Strange sounds, such as hissing or rattling, coming from the unit
  • Poor indoor air quality, such as excessive dust
  • Frequent repairs
  • Excessive wear and tear on the equipment

Consider Upgrading Your AC Filter

Underwood AC LLC carries a full line of filters for your air conditioning system. Most homeowners use standard filters, but you may want to consider upgrading. A HEPA filter traps the smallest of particles, such as viruses and mold spores. We also have other options for improving the air quality inside your home.

Keep Your HVAC System in Tip Top Shape

At Underwood AC LLC, we offer installation, repairs, and maintenance on heating and cooling systems for homeowners in Davenport and the surrounding areas of Florida. Give us a call to schedule a time for our technician to come by and check your HVAC system. We will recommend routine maintenance services as well as let you know about any repairs we recommend to keep your unit in tip-top shape. If you are looking to buy a new air conditioner, we can help you find the best model for your home and budget.

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