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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Can I Clean My HVAC Filter?

Your HVAC system—air conditioner and heater—contains an air filter that is vital for proper operation of the system. The filter is designed to catch debris, such as dust, dirt, and hair, that comes into the ventilation system through the return ducts. The filter prevents these pollutants from entering the cabinet of the heater and air conditioner and causing damage to their components. However, after a month of steady work, the filter will start to become clogged, and if left this way, it will restrict airflow into the HVAC system, resulting in the system overworking and possibly even leading to freezing across the air conditioning coils.


If you have disposable air filters in your HVAC system, you should change them once a month during the height of heating and cooling season. But what if you have a permanent filter? You don’t change it, you clean it, although you need to be careful when you handle the filter. We’ll explain how to perform regular cleaning for the air filter in your heating and air conditioning systems.

Should you encounter any serious problems in your AC or heater due to an air filter clog, or any other issues with your HVAC system, contact Kilowatt any time of the day or night.

How to best clean a re-usable filter

First, detach the filter from the system. It resembles a plastic grill filled with thin fibers. To clean it, we recommend that you take it outside where you can use a common garden hose on it. Don’t try to scrape off the accumulation of dust and dirt. Instead, use the water from the hose to clean it off.

Put the hose at lower pressure, not high pressure, which might damage the filter by spreading out the fibers too wide. Direct the water spray from the backside of the filter, not the side that has the dust across it. The reason for this is that you want to push the debris off the filter, not try to push it through.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned of the debris, allow the air filter time to dry. You shouldn’t return the filter to the system until it is 100% dry. A wet filter will cause the HVAC system to send excess humidity into your home.

If you have any concerns about the filter, or if your air conditioning and heating continue to work inefficiently and with low airflow after you have cleaned the filter, please contact Kilowatt and ask for professional assistance. We can help with any repairs for your air conditioning in Sherman Oaks, CA. We also handle yearly maintenance, which will help keep your air filter clean.

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