I Beg You Not to Ignore Your Filter Reset Light.
Window air conditioners are commonly used in apartment buildings and older buildings without an air conditioning system. Most people install it in their window, plug it in and forget it, but at some point the “reset filter” button is triggered and you start puzzling over how to replace it.
According to Energy.gov , a dirty air filter uses 15% more energy than a clean air filter, so regular maintenance of your air filters can save money and extend the life of your air conditioner. Here’s how to replace the AC air filter in your window when it’s time to replace them.
How often should I change my AC window filter?
When an AC air filter collects too much dust and dirt, it obstructs airflow and blows unwanted particles into your home. Eventually, air will not be able to pass through the filter, blowing it back into the unit and clogging the air conditioner evaporator coil (the one that cools the air). To avoid blockages, Frost King recommends cleaning or replacing your air filters every six to eight weeks. For most of us, this is probably the ambitious side, so try at least once or twice over the summer.
Signs Your AC Filter Needs Replacement
There are various AC air filters. In newer models, the filters are similar to window screens, but made of plastic mesh surrounded by a plastic frame. Some are a sheet of fiber that can be discarded and replaced; others are made of foam rubber, reminiscent of the soft version of tough wool. Check your filter regularly to make sure it doesn’t need a good cleaning, seems too dirty, and needs a complete replacement.
The signs that you need to replace the filter speak for themselves: if the filter seems dirty and no matter what you do, it’s time to replace it. It is also necessary to replace the disposable filter that is covered with dirt without signs of the original color. If you see any signs of holes, tears, or damaged parts, you will need to purchase a new one. These issues will affect the performance of your computer.
Replacing the filter is quite cheap, depending on the type of filter. A plastic mesh filter will start at just under $ 24, while disposable foam filters are only $ 2 and $ 8 (depending on the type of foam).
How to replace an AC window filter
Most window air conditioners have a plastic grille. Depending on the type of unit, the front panel can be removed to reveal the air filter directly behind it. Although it looks as if the edge has grown together with the body of the device, it does not click from the sides and top. You will want to unfasten the cover, remove the filter and either clean it with a cloth or replace it with a new one if it cannot be repaired. When you’re done, the filter and front should snap into place .
Other block filters slide out and out from the top or side compartment . For any type of AC filter removal, you need to find the user manual for your specific make and model of the device. Watch the Part Select tutorial video for detailed instructions on how to remove a preloaded filter.
How to clean an AC window filter instead of replacing it
A thick layer of dust on an AC filter does not necessarily mean you need to throw it away. If it’s reusable, try cleaning it to remove as much dirt as possible before assuming the repair is beyond repair.
First make sure your device is turned off and unplugged, then remove the filter as described above. After removing the filter, use a handheld vacuum cleaner or a full-size vacuum cleaner with an attachment to remove as much dust as possible. Vacuum in a well-ventilated area or outdoors if you can. Then, take the filter to a sink or bathtub and apply a small spoonful of dish soap to a washcloth. In warm water, wipe the filter with a soapy cloth, removing all traces of dirt, and rinse. Use a microfiber towel to wipe the filter to remove excess water, then let it dry. Allow the filter to dry completely before returning it to the AC unit.
I completed this process recently and it only took five minutes. It is so simple; you wonder why you ignored this “filter reset” indicator all this time.