Handling a filter can damage its integrity, so it's important to know which type of filter you're using. Disposable air filters should be discarded and replaced with a new one. Reusable air filters, on the other hand, can be removed every one to three months and washed thoroughly to remove accumulated dust, irritants, and contaminants. When you inspect your air conditioner filter and see dust on the surface of the filter, it's time to clean it.
The clogged filter will force the air conditioner to work harder to cool the air in the house, placing a burden on the air conditioning unit and increasing your utility bill. To clean a reusable air filter, first safely remove it from the air conditioning unit. Rinse it in a sink or tub with water and use a soft brush and mild detergent to remove sticky particles. Shake off excess water to drain through the drain holes in the rack and reinstall the air cleaner to the system.
The system air flow will completely dry the clean filter. Although your system works the same with both types of filters, it's important to know which one you're using. Trying to get things out of the filter can also compromise the somewhat delicate construction of the fibers, and if a hole is made somewhere in the fibers, the filter simply cannot be as efficient or effective as it originally was. Keeping an air conditioning filter clean and functional is one of the keys to keeping any commercial building safe from dirty air. A clogged AC filter can shorten the life of your expensive air conditioning unit while allowing pollen and dust to circulate throughout your home. First, the filter protects the air conditioning unit by filtering dirt and dust that would otherwise clog the air controller and force the air conditioning unit to work harder to cool the air. Removing a washable type air conditioner filter once a month (or twice during heavy use seasons) and evaluating it for cleaning or replacement should keep quality and energy use under control.
Proper cleaning of reusable air filters is important to maintaining critical airflow and extending the life of the air conditioning unit. From one maintenance period to the next, air conditioning filters trap a large number of types of contaminants and other debris, and these particles are often trapped far below the surface, in the filter fibers. There are certain types of air conditioning filters that are specially designed to be reusable, but unless you are sure that the air filters in your cooling system are of this type, you should not assume that it is safe to clean and reuse them at the time of maintenance. If in doubt, call the manufacturer and ask where the AC filter is located and if your system uses more than one. Washable air filters can help improve indoor air quality in commercial environments and offer the lowest cost over a filter life.