How to Clean an HVAC Filter


If you desire an HVAC system that keeps your home comfortable and energy efficient, you must regularly maintain and clean the air filter. The best way to do this is to schedule a professional inspection and cleaning every three months. However, this is something you can also do on your own. In this article, we’ll look at the steps you must take to ensure the filter is properly cleaned.

How to Clean an HVAC Filter

All American Plumbing, Heating & Air is your one-stop-shop for all things heating and cooling related. Our experienced technicians use the latest tools and techniques to provide you with exceptional HVAC services. From installation to repairs and maintenance, we have you covered.

Why Do You Need Air Filters?

Your HVAC system’s air filter is designed to trap dirt, dust, pollen, and other particles that can cause health hazards in your home. This filter also helps minimize energy consumption by allowing the system to run more efficiently. A dirty air filter makes it harder for the system to blow air through the house and causes it to work less effectively.

Why Clean Your Air Filters?

Cleaning your HVAC air filter is essential to keeping your home comfortable, energy-efficient, and safe from allergens and other air contaminants. Depending on the type of filter, you can either replace it periodically or clean it yourself.

Types of Air Filters

No matter the type of HVAC system you have, the type of air filter used in your system may be one of those listed below.

Fiberglass Filters

Basic, disposable fiberglass filters are intended to guard your HVAC system against dust and debris, they offer minimal air quality benefits.

UV Filters

Utilizing a UV filter can eradicate viruses and bacteria in your home’s central air system, keeping you safe from potentially harmful germs.

Electrostatic Filters

Harnessing electrostatic power, these filters magnetically draw particles and dust from the atmosphere.

HEPA Filters

These filters are particularly adept at blocking out pollutants, making them perfect for those with serious respiratory difficulties.

Pleated Filters

With its pleats, this filter allows for an expanded surface area that successfully captures more pollutants.

Washable Filters

Although these filters may be more expensive than other options, you’ll save money in the long run since they can be easily disassembled and cleaned. However, they should be replaced once they begin to show signs of damage.

How to Clean an HVAC Filter

Whether you choose to replace or clean your air filter, here are the steps you should take to ensure a thorough job:

Step 1: Turn Off Your HVAC System

Before you begin, make sure to switch off your HVAC system. This will help ensure that the filter is not damaged by any debris or dust in the air while it’s being cleaned.

Step 2: Find The Service Panel

The service panel is located somewhere in the system’s air conditioning unit. Find it and locate the filter. You should also check the unit’s vents as some units have several filters.

Step 3: Remove And Clean The Filter

Once you’ve found the filter, take it out and place it on the floor facing up. Then vacuum it to remove any dust or debris.

Step 4: Further Clean The Filter

If step 3 doesn’t do the trick, you can use any of the three ways to get a better clean.

  • To clean a mildly soiled HVAC filter, set it in your sink or bathtub and give it a good rinse with warm running water.
  • Alternatively, when cleaning your filter, you can use a garden hose for an efficient job. However, remember to avoid any pressurized settings because they could damage the filter!
  • If you require a more thorough cleanse, fill your sink with a combination of one part vinegar and one part warm water. Allow the filter to rest in this solution for an hour before rinsing thoroughly.

To wrap up, gently remove any remaining residue with your hands or a soft brush.

Step 5: Reinstall The Filter

Once the filter is completely dry, replace it in its original position and make sure that it is seated snugly. Then, turn on your HVAC unit and check if the filter is working properly. If it isn’t, you may need to replace it or contact a professional for assistance.

Cleaning your air filter regularly can help prolong your HVAC system’s life by providing clean air to circulate. Doing so can also keep your home safe from any allergens or contaminants, allowing you to breathe easily. That said, make sure to follow the steps outlined above for a successful clean and stay on top of regular maintenance!

Do You Need Help Replacing or Cleaning Your HVAC Filter?

If you need help changing and cleaning your HVAC filter, contact the professionals at All American Plumbing, Heating & Air. One of our qualified technicians will assess the filter’s condition and advise on how best to maintain it. We’ll also be able to identify any additional issues with your system and advise on the best course of action. So don’t wait – contact us now at (209) 710-5629 for a free consultation!