If you've got a window air conditioner at home, it's very important to make sure that your filter is cleaned regularly. Here's why.
But first: Did you know? The standard window A/C filter doesn't clean the air you breathe
Most window A/Cs come with a standard filter that is washable. Manufacturers tend to recommend that this filter is cleaned once a month during regular use - that's because it can get saturated and even interfere with the airflow.
Most people assume that the window A/C filter is there to help them breathe cleaner. The truth is, the standard window A/C filter is actually designed to protect only the unit itself from large particles of lint, dust, or debris getting in and interfering with the internal mechanisms.
The standard filter does nothing at all when it comes to fine particulates like pollen, pet dander, cooking fumes, and other allegerns - and these are precisely what you breathe in and can negatively affect your health.
The July window A/C is the first window A/C to offer air purifying filters that will not only protect your unit, but also your health.
What happens to the filter over time
If you don’t clean the standard filter regularly, it can get clogged up with dust and dirt. If you have pets or children, you need to clean your A/C filter more often because they track in more dirt than adults do.
Your window A/C takes in the warm air from the room through the filter, cools it, and then blows it back out. So if your filter is saturated with lint and other debris, it's not going to be able to suck in enough warm air. The result? Decreased cooling capacity, and it can even damage your A/C over time.
Clean it once a month, or more often if you have allergies.
How to clean your filter
Window A/C filters are designed to be easy to remove and replace. Consult your manufacturer's manual if you're not sure how. Once you remove the filter, remove the big chunks of lint with your hand and dispose of these. You can also run the filter under water to further clean it out. But remember: don't put it in the dishwasher.
After your filter has been cleaned, leave it to dry if you got it wet. When it's dry, you can re-insert it into your window A/C. Most manufacturers recommend that you don't run the A/C while there's no filter inside.
And if you're looking for that extra air purifying power, don't forget about the July - the first air purifying window A/C.