Routinely replacing or cleaning your HVAC’s filters is the most essential maintenance task for maximizing the system’s performance. Filters that are clogged and dirty restrict airflow and reduce the system’s efficiency. Moreso, when airflow is impeded, air can circumvent the filter and deposit dirt straight onto the evaporator coil, diminishing the coil’s capacity to absorb heat. By cleaning or replacing a dirty, clogged filter, you can reduce the energy usage of your air conditioner by 5 to 15%. How can you clean your residential air filters? This article will provide useful cleaning tips for your HVAC and furnace filters.

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HVAC And Furnace Filters

For central air conditioning systems, filters are usually installed along the length of the return duct. Frequent filter placements include walls, ceilings, and the air conditioner itself. A room air conditioner’s filter is attached to the grill that faces the room. Usually, it will be of at least the MERV 8 standard, but you can choose to go higher (to MERV 13 for example) if you wish.
Some residential air filter types are reusable, while others must be replaced. It is a good idea to be prepared with replacement filters on hand so that they can be replaced several times a year. It’ll help to avoid any significant problems over the winter months too!
There is a range of varieties and efficiencies available at Custom Filters Direct. During the cooling season, you should clean or replace the air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two. Filters may need to be changed more frequently if the air conditioner is in continual use, is exposed to dusty environments, or if you have furry pets in the home.

Cleaning Your Residential Air Filters: What You Require 

To clean or replace your residential air filters, you will need these:

  • Screwdriver
  • Large bucket or sink
  • Vacuum with a soft brush attachment
  • Hot water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Hose (optional)

Steps To Cleaning Your HVAC And Furnace Filters

Follow these four steps when cleaning your air filters:

  1. Turn The Power Off And Locate The Filter.

Before you begin cleaning, switch off your HVAC system to prevent unfiltered air from circulating your home. Locate the vent and open the unit with a screwdriver. Depending on the system, there may be many vents that each include a filter; therefore, you must clean them all. Examine the filter for damage after removing it. If necessary, replace the filter; otherwise, continue vacuuming.

  1. Vacuum The Air Filter.

Take the filter outdoors, if you can, to prevent stirring up dust indoors. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean the filter of particles. Gently sweep the brush across the filter to dislodge stubborn deposits.

  1. Wash The Filter With Vinegar And Hot Water.

If your air filter requires a more thorough cleaning, fill your sink or a large bucket with hot water and white distilled vinegar in equal parts. Soak the filter for about an hour, then rinse it with clean water. If the filter is too large to fit in a sink or bucket, use a garden hose to rinse it by directing water in the opposite direction of the airflow. Use a low-pressure setting to prevent filter damage.

  1. Allow To Dry, Then Replace.

Allow the filter to air-dry thoroughly before replacing it. This prevents the growth of mould within your HVAC system. Reload the filter into the unit, ensuring that it is oriented correctly for optimal airflow. Most air filters have arrow markings that normally point toward the furnace, in the direction of airflow. These arrows indicate proper installation. Replace the vents and then restart the unit.

Cleaning Reusable Air Filters

Other common household pieces of equipment that use air filters are the range hood fan, the vacuum cleaner, and the dehumidifier. Typically, these contain reusable filters, so you can just wash and dry them before reinserting them. The frequency of replacement will depend on the indoor air quality and the appliance’s usage. You can clean your filters every other time you replace your HVAC filters, or simultaneously if they are heavily utilized. The maintenance of air filters varies by manufacturer. Please adhere to their instructions. Abundant Air is Winnipeg’s top choice for furnace maintenance and service.

Typically, your hood fan filter is located beneath the hood and resembles a wire mesh grate. Use hot water and a degreaser to remove oil. Occasionally, it may be required to soak in hot (just below boiling) water if it is particularly dirty. Your dehumidifier’s air filter should also be cleaned with warm, soapy water, or as directed by the manufacturer. Some vacuum cleaners are equipped with both a pre-filter and the main filter. Before the air is filtered by a finer, replacement filter, the pre-filter is typically reusable and captures all of the big particles. The pre-filter can be cleaned using pressured air, soapy water, or a stiff brush. Then, add a new primary filter, and you’ll be set.


Scheduled cleaning and replacements of your air filters are the best things you can do for your HVAC system. We hope you find these tips helpful.