Cleaning Your Window AC Filter | Portable AC Tips

How to Clean Window AC Filter

Window air conditioners may be small, but the comfort they can provide is unmatched. When the summer months roll in, these compact appliances can make the sizzling days bearable.

Air conditioners work extra hard to cool your home, especially in hotter places. To prevent any breakdowns, it’s important to take steps to maintain these trusty machines.

Before you start worrying about dismantling your window AC and cleaning its insides, you can first start with simpler cleaning routines that can instantly help your AC run smoother.

Sometimes, all your AC needs is a good air filter cleaning. Clean air filters ensure that your unit isn’t strained and working inefficiently.

How do you clean a window AC filter? First, let’s learn more about window-type air conditioners.

Window-type Air Conditioners

A window air conditioner is just that—an air conditioner that usually goes into a window or wall. It’s the simplest type of air conditioner unit you can get for your home. It’s easy to install since unlike other types of air conditioners, all its components and parts are already contained inside its casing.

You can simply install one right on your window, or you can create a hole in a wall to place it into. Window ACs can be plugged into a traditional electrical outlet and can be operated independently of other air conditioning units in your home.

Window-type ACs are perfect for those who either have a smaller residence or those who want to have independently operating air conditioners. They are much more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and affordable than other air conditioner types.

You can maximize the benefits of your window AC by making sure it’s always clean and maintained. Thankfully, window-type units are smaller and self-contained, so it’s easy to keep them working smoothly.

How to Clean Window AC filter

One of the easiest things you can do to keep your air conditioner running smoothly is to clean its air filter. You can do this process yourself regularly since it’s simple and doesn’t need special equipment to accomplish.

Step 1

Before you begin, turn off and unplug your air conditioner first. Do not remove your AC filter while it is running! The unfiltered air entering your unit may cause dirt buildup and eventual damage on the inside.

Step 2

You need to prepare a few cleaning materials. To clean the front panel and filter, you will need warm soapy water, a vacuum, and a cleaning cloth. If you don’t have a vacuum, you can use a soft bristle cleaning brush instead. You may also need white vinegar if your air filter needs a more in-depth cleaning.

Step 3

Remove or unclasp the face panel. Each brand and model has a different face panel interface. Read the air conditioner’s instruction manual or look up your unit’s model online to see how to do this.

Step 4

Depending on the design of your AC, slide or pop out the air filter carefully. The amount of dirt buildup you see may vary depending on how regularly you maintain your AC, how often you use it, and how polluted your surrounding area is.

Step 5

Gently vacuum or brush the filter to get rid of dust buildup. Continue until all the large clumps of dirt are gone.

Step 6

Afterward, clean the filter further by washing it. Wash your filter gently in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

If your filter is quite dirty and needs a more thorough cleaning, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and submerge the filter in the mixture for an hour or more. After soaking, rinse well.

Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean your air filter. Any residue remaining on the filter may damage your air conditioner’s internal components. It’s best to stick to soap and vinegar.

Step 7

Leave your air filter to dry. During the wait, you can take the time to clean the face panel of your air conditioner with a vacuum and a damp cloth. Make sure to clean through the grille carefully and dry the panel after cleaning.

Step 8

Once both the air filter and face panel are dry, place the filter back into your AC and close the panel shut.

How often do you need to clean the filter?

How frequently you need to clean your AC filter depends on a few factors. First, find out what your air conditioner’s manufacturer has to say. Some manufacturers urge people to clean their air filters every 2 weeks, while some only require it once a year. Call your unit’s manufacturer or check online to find out their recommendation.

You also need to consider how long you use your air conditioner and how often. If you live in a hotter area like Florida and use your air conditioner more frequently, you may need to clean your AC filter more.

Pollution, environmental factors, and personal factors need to be considered as well. Do you live in the city or a desert area? Do you have pets? You may need to clean your filter more often since some factors can cause dirt and debris buildup more than others.

You may also need to clean your filter more often if you or any of your family members have asthma or other respiratory allergies.

The best way to figure out a good cleaning schedule that fits your location and usage is to regularly check your air filter. Just gently open your air conditioner’s face panel and peek at the filter to see if it’s time to clean up.

Don’t let dirt build up for too long! A clogged air filter is bad for your air conditioner and can cause even bigger problems in the long run.

Why you should always clean your AC Filters?

When you buy an air conditioner, you want it to last as long as possible. To do that, you need to take steps to maintain your unit. Maintaining your air conditioner’s air filter has a lot of benefits not just for your AC but also for you. Here’s why you should regularly maintain your AC:

To improve the air conditioner’s function

Regularly cleaning your AC filter improves the way your unit cools and circulates air. Not only will you get more effective cooling, but you will also get better indoor air quality. If you have any allergies or other respiratory issues, cleaning your filter is highly beneficial for you.

To lessen the air conditioner’s noise

Window air conditioners make more noise than other AC types. Keeping your AC filter clean means the interiors are free of loose moving debris that can make even more noise.

A clean air filter also ensures that the system is not straining, therefore running more smoothly with less noise.

To avoid random breakdowns

Dust buildup on your filter restricts the air that flows into your AC. This strains your unit and may cause problems like overheating, shorter cooling cycles, and generally reduced performance.

Internal damage on your AC can lead to motor burn-outs and other problems that can cause breakdowns that are not only inconvenient but also expensive. Cleaning your filter regularly means you can have a fully working AC system whenever you need it.

To spend less on repairs & bills

A clogged air filter can hurt your pockets too. The damage it can inflict on your unit can lead to costly repairs. An inefficiently running AC will also cause higher electricity bills. Simply cleaning the air filter can avoid all these potential expenses.

To extend the lifespan of your AC

With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy your AC’s cooling abilities for a long time. Making sure that your unit is clean and not straining will keep the machine healthy and running for many years.

What else can I do to maintain my AC?

Aside from regularly cleaning the exterior panel and the air filter of your air conditioners, you can take more advanced steps to maintain your AC.

Clean the air conditioner’s interior

If you have some experience with air conditioners, you can try your hand at cleaning your AC’s interiors. You can take a soft-bristled brush and gently clean the aluminum fins, hose down the air conditioner’s interior parts, and straighten the fins if you see that they are bent.

Take steps to prevent mold and mildew

After you clean the interior of your AC, you can take a simple mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water and spray it around different areas like the front panel, condenser fins, and wherever you may have seen mold growth before. Wait for the solution to dry before turning your AC back on.

Schedule regular maintenance

If you’re too busy to do AC maintenance yourself or if you’re not too experienced with HVAC matters, you can always call experts to do it for you. Make sure to schedule internal cleaning at least once a year to ensure that your air conditioner continues to work properly.

Mac 5 Expert Home Services

Is it time for your window AC’s tune-up and maintenance session? Let us handle it for you.

If you need any kind of air conditioning maintenance service, don’t hesitate to call our licensed technicians to attend to your needs.

Our certified technicians know how to service just about any make or type of AC, whether it’s a central home system or a window-type air conditioner.

Call us now at 321-244-7500.
Our experts are available to serve you 24/7. You can also book an appointment online, and we will contact you as soon as we can.

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