Soft Focus to Filter of Air handing Unit, Technician checking a Pre-filter of air handling unit for replacement a new filter - HVAC maintenance

How To Clean HVAC Filters

Cleaning HVAC filters aren’t always deemed a top priority when you find time to clean the house. In fact, you may not even know this is a task that should be done. However, maintaining the cleanliness of your HVAC filters is an important aspect of taking care of your home.


Your HVAC blows air throughout the home. If there is dirt or build-up on your filters, rest assure this is passing through your house as well. Cleaning your filters not only prolongs the life of your HVAC system, but benefits your lungs as well.


Fortunately, cleaning your HVAC filters is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s take a look.


6 Steps To Cleaner HVAC Filters

  1. Shut It Down

The first step is to turn off your air conditioning system. Just like changing a lightbulb with the power on, it can be dangerous to mess with an electrical system while it’s still running. 


As well, removing the filters means there will be no netting to stop particles from entering the HVAC. If you’re taking the time to clean your filters, why would you allow your HVAC to get gunk in it in the meantime?


As a note, it’s recommended that you clean your filters on a mild day, rather than a super hot or cold one, if possible.


  1. Remove the Filters

Using a screwdriver, open the vent and remove the filter. Some units have more than one filter, so take the time to ensure you’ve found them all.


Determine whether your filter is disposable or reusable. If it’s reusable, then it’s worth taking the time to clean out. If it’s disposable, however, it may just be best to replace it.


  1. Vacuum

Using a handheld or the hose attachment on your vacuum, remove any dirt or build-up on the filter. 


Your filter may not show any signs of grime, but take the time to vacuum the filter anyway. 


  1. Wash

For a deeper clean, soak your filter in a solution of one part water and one part vinegar. Let it sit for around an hour before washing it off with clean water.

Removing Air Filter

If you don’t have an area large enough to allow your filter to soak, simply take your garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment and wash the filter with that. Take care not to have the spray setting too strong or pressurized, as it runs the risk of damaging the filter.


  1. Inspect

Make sure your filter is in good condition before placing it back in the HVAC system. If it’s showing signs of wear or damage, that means it’s time to replace it.


  1. Reinstall

Now that your filter is clean again and in tip-top shape, place it back in the HVAC.


If you washed your filter at all, ensure you’ve given it adequate time to dry to avoid mould from growing.


Good luck and happy cleaning! 


When you need a plumbing and heating company in Calgary, turn to Western Canadian Furnace Company. We have some of the most experienced technicians and use the most modern equipment for all of your needs. Contact us at 403-531-6181 or send an email to [email protected]

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