A good rule of thumb is to check your filter every month. So how often do you need to clean your air conditioner? There is no answer to that question because different components of your air conditioner require different amounts of service. Air filters, for example, should be cleaned or changed every month or two during busy seasons. If you have furry pets, live in a dusty area, or if your air conditioner is running constantly, you may need to replace filters more often.
Simply replacing a dirty air filter can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%. Replacing or cleaning air filters is actually one of the most important maintenance tasks you have for your air conditioning unit. When air filters get dirty or clogged, air can't flow properly around the house. A dirty air filter can also cause the evaporator coils to freeze, causing ice to build up inside the air conditioning unit, making it even more difficult to perform.
Some types of filters are reusable; others need to be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace the filter (s) in your air conditioning system every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent care if the air conditioner is in constant use, if it is subject to dusty conditions, or if you have pets with fur in the house.
If you are cleaning the air conditioner filter, you must remove it and replace it with a new one. To determine how often to change or clean the air filter, check the filter label or ask your local HVAC technician. You should always follow the manufacturer's instructions for how often to clean the air conditioner filter. For a more thorough cleaning, fill the sink with one part water and one part white vinegar, and then allow the HVAC filter to soak in the solution for one hour.
When you neglect your air conditioning unit, its performance will decline as you consume more energy, causing your utility bills to skyrocket. Regularly replacing air filters and scheduling an annual tune-up is the best way to ensure that your air conditioner works efficiently, especially on hot days, when you need it most. The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace or clean your filters on a routine basis. If you're not sure how often to clean your air conditioner filter, you can follow the manufacturer's instructions for replacing the filter.
If several of these factors are familiar to you, you will likely experience a faster particle load on your filters and, therefore, will need to change it more frequently. Other parts of the air conditioning unit will also need cleaning, such as condensate drains and coil fins. Permanent filters are more expensive upfront, but they can save you money in the long run because you can clean them instead of replacing them. At the beginning of each cooling season, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to make sure it contacts the metal housing of the unit.
Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a fin comb that combs these fins back to their near-original state. Often, you'll pay much more in wasted energy than you would simply by calling a licensed air conditioning contractor to perform a set-up.