The filters in your air conditioning unit perform an important function; they remove dust and allergens from the air that circulates around your home, improving indoor air quality and reducing allergy symptoms in people who suffer from them. Over time, these filters can become clogged with dust, which prevents your air conditioner from working efficiently. If you notice that your electricity bills have been rising recently, follow these instructions to clean your air conditioning filters. You could reduce the amount of energy it uses by up to 15 percent as a result.
1. Open Your Air Conditioner and Remove Filters
Begin by turning the air conditioning unit off at the mains. Remove the unit cover and take out the filters. You might need a screwdriver to open up the unit.
2. Vacuum the Filters
If it's been a long time since you cleaned your filters, they will likely be covered in a thick layer of dust and lint. Remove the excess dust by carefully vacuuming the filters. Be careful to avoid ripping the filters, as you'll have to replace them if they tear.
3. Wash the Filters
Fill a large bowl with a dilute solution of water and vinegar. This acidic solution kills bacteria and mould, which grow on dirty filters and can cause lung problems if they begin to circulate around your home. Submerge the filters in the water and leave them to soak for at least an hour. If it's been a very long time since you cleaned your filters, you may need to leave them for several hours to completely clean them.
4. Dry the Filters
Take the filters out of the cleaning solution and lay them on a clean towel. Don't rub the filters dry, as the friction from the towel can cause the delicate filters to tear. Instead, leave them on the towel to dry. You can safely speed up the drying process by placing the filters in bright sunlight or in a warm place.
5. Replace the Filters
When the filters are dry, replace them in the air conditioner. Replace the cover and turn the air conditioner back on to check it is working correctly. Over the next few days, you may notice that the air inside your home feels cleaner and your electricity usage is lower than usual.
7. Repeat Regularly
Clean the filters every month or two during seasons when you use your air conditioner. You may need to clean them more often if you have pets at home or you leave your air conditioner running all day.
8. Know When to Seek Help
If cleaning the filters in your air conditioner doesn't help it to run more efficiently, contact an air conditioning repair service. These professionals can look at all parts of the air conditioning unit, not just the filters, to work out why it is using so much energy.