How to Clean a Washable Air Filter for Optimal Air Quality

Learn how often you should clean your washable air filter for optimal performance and improved indoor air quality.

How to Clean a Washable Air Filter for Optimal Air Quality

If you want to save money and maintain optimal air quality, you can clean the washable filter yourself. Filters require cleaning every 3 to 5 months, based on their MERV rating. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter every month. When it comes to cleaning air filters, thoroughness is key.

In terms of maintenance, you should clean the washable filters once a month, neglecting this can lead to a restriction of air flow, as dirt accumulates inside the filter. Proper cleaning of reusable air filters is important to maintaining critical airflow and extending the life of the air conditioning unit. When you inspect your AC filter and see dust on the filter surface, it's time to clean it. Check the filter every 3 to 4 weeks. Change the filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable type.

Reusable filters must be completely dry before reassembly. Low-cost fiberglass filters need to be changed every 30 days. More expensive pleated filters can last up to 6 months. A good rule of thumb is to replace pleated filters every 90 days. If you have electrostatic or washable filters, you should wash, dry and reinstall them once a month.

Washable filters are more environmentally friendly and, if properly cleaned and reused, can last 5 to 10 years. The Trane system will tell you when it needs to be cleaned, but in general, you should vacuum the filter every one to three months. Clean more often if you have allergies, smoke, or have furry pets. Trane recommends that a technician perform a more thorough cleaning of additional components. For more information, watch this Trane video on CleanEffects cleaning methods Individual room heating and air conditioning systems, window air conditioners, air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, oil diffusers, range hoods, clothes dryers and vacuums have air filters that need to be cleaned or changed regularly. Cleaning a washable air filter in an air conditioning or heating system is one of the most important things you can do.

You will save more money with a washable filter, even if it is more expensive upfront; this type of filter will pay for itself in the long run. Washable air filters can help improve indoor air quality in commercial environments and offer the lowest cost over a filter life. Keeping an air conditioning filter clean and functional is one of the keys to keeping any commercial building safe from dirty air. If the central air conditioner filter is not cleaned regularly, dust, dirt, bacteria, mold and mildew can accumulate. The pre-filter and collection cells of an electronic air filter should be cleaned at least two or three times a year.

The first thing to do when you figure out how to clean an air conditioner filter is to turn off the air conditioner. An easy way to know if an air cleaner in any system or appliance needs cleaning is to remove it from its usual location. While waiting for the filter to dry, clean the appliance or vent where you removed the air filter to remove dust or cobwebs. Washable air filters work best for filtering particles that are visible or invisible to the naked eye; 0.5 microns or more. A clean air filter will also prevent dust and dirt from accumulating in the system, which could lead to costly utility and maintenance bills.

If the filter frame looks dirty or feels sticky, mix a warm water solution and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, the air filter in your air conditioning unit loses effectiveness. To ensure optimal performance of your AC unit and maintain good indoor air quality in your home or office space, make sure that your washable air filter is cleaned regularly.