How to Clean a Furnace Filter

How to Clean a Furnace Filter

The furnace is definitely one of the most important appliances in any home. During the cold seasons, the furnace is responsible for bring warmth to your home leaving it habitable. However, for your furnace to give you the same high-quality services, you have to maintain it properly. One of the most effective ways of doing so is by cleaning its filters regularly. This also allows you to use it for as long as possible. In this article, I will help you learn how to clean a furnace filter with utmost ease.

What You Will Need

  • Furnace
  • Screw driver
  • Dirty filter
  • Hose
  • Clean warm water
  • Soap
  • Cleaning cloth

Step 1: Turn Off the Furnace
Not only for precautionary measures, turning off the furnace before beginning the process of cleaning its filters helps you to clean them properly and with ease. Before doing anything, ensure that the furnace is turned off. 

Step 2: Locate the Filter
The position of the filter in the furnace varies depending on the model and brand. In most cases however, the filter lies behind the door of the furnace an you may need to unscrew the panel for you to reach it.

Step 3: Remove the Filter
After locating the furnace filter in your unit, remove it carefully by sliding it in and out of its housing. Again, the ease to which you remove this filters will depend on the model of your unit.

Step 4: Clean the Filter
This is where the real deal is. Take the old dirty filter and deep it in warm water in a bucket or sink. Use your cleaning water and soap to wash your filter until the water running through is very clear. It is important to note that you might have to repeat this process severally before you can have clean water running through.

After you are certified with the water running through your filter, rinse it and leave it out to dry. Re-inserting your filter while it is still wet will compromise its efficiency so it is important to ensure that it dries up first. 

If your filter has a cardboard, you should never wash it. Instead, you are supposed to replace it with a new one. The cardboard also plays an important role in enhancing the efficiency of filter.

Step 5: Re-insert the Filter
After you have cleaned your filter, left it out to dry and now you are satisfied with the results, the next step is to re-insert it carefully back to its original position. In most units, the direction to which you are supposed to return the filter is engraved in the system itself.

Turn of the power and test to see whether the furnace is working well. Aside from the MERV scale ratings of your furnace, how well your system works will depend on how well you can maintain it. 

How to Care for Your Filter

After cleaning your filter, it is important to note how else you can keep it in good condition for maximum efficiency. Here are some factors to consider:

1.Note When Next You Will Need to Clean Your Filter
Furnace filter cleaning is not a onetime thing. Depending on the model of brand of your filter, you can be able to tell the duration after which you will be required to clean your filters again. For instance, if you have electrostatic filters, you can clean them after every three months. If you have electronic filters, you will need to clean them weekly. On the other hand, if you have mechanical filters, you will need to replace them after every month, as they are not reusable.

2.Keep the Records
Record keeping in HVAC filter cleaning is very important. Every time you clean your filters, mark the day in a calendar or anywhere that you can easily remember. This way, you will never lose track of your cleaning patterns. You will always know when you are supposed to clean your system again.

3.Opt for Quality
Yes, it is true that many furnace filter brands are available in the market today. However, not all of the filters are genuine or will fit your needs. Before settling for one, first read the user guide provided by the manufacturer of your furnace. Learn about what the right furnace filter size is ideal for your unit and opt for quality. This will see to it that your furnace lasts for a longer period without the need for regular repair service.

4.Adhere to the Right Methods of Cleaning
Sometimes you might clean your furnace filters thoroughly but the dirt may fail to come off. When this happens, do not resolve for extra force. Instead, opt for using other homer products such as vinegar and bi carbonate to remove the tough stains. Also, you can take your filters outside and spray them using pipe water with a lot of pressure.

5.Avoid Procrastination
If the day you noted for the next cleaning has arrived, do not postpone. Brace yourself and clean the filter as you had planned regardless of whether it is extremely dirty or otherwise. In my time, I have seen so many people ignoring the actual day of furnace filter cleaning only for them to open their eyes when it is too late. For a well-working furnace filter, clean it regularly and without fail. 

Why You Should Clean Your Furnace Filters Regularly

As aforementioned, cleaning the HVAC air filters of your furnace goes a long way into ensuring its durability and efficiency. Without proper regular and proper cleaning of your filters, your furnace would be as convenient. Here are some of the benefits of cleaning your HVAC filters regularly:

1.Extends the Life of Your Furnace
When you install a furnace in your home, it is your hope that it will serve you for as long as possible. However, with dirt clogging all over your filter, it makes it almost impossible for air to pass into your furnace thereby causing regular breakdowns. To cut a long story short, furnaces with dirty filters use more power to operate conveniently. The more the furnace strains to conduct its activities, the higher the chances that it will break down earlier. Cleaning the filters of your furnace is therefore one of the ways of seeing to it that you have a system that will last your for longer.

2.Helps to Regulate the Energy Costs
In a bid to save on some cash at the end of the month, you have to cut off some unnecessary bills. When you have dirt or dust all over your furnace’s filters, the unit will require more energy to provide you with the same services as before. The more energy your furnace consumes, the more money you will to part with at the end of the month. To avoid going out of your way financially, simply clean the filters to your furnace regularly.

According to a report by the Department of Energy, many people spend about $2,200 per year. The same department further indicates that cleaning your HVAC filters can help reduce the energy costs by a significant 15 percent.

3.Gives You a Healthy Environment
If you or anybody in your family suffers from asthma or allergies, cleaning your HVAC filters regularly is not an option. When dust settles on the filters of your furnace, it may settle in the other parts of your home thereby causing problems especially to those people who do not do well with dust and dirt. For a healthier home, clean and change your furnace’s filters regularly.

4.Allows You To Have Peace of Mind
Getting the best furnace for your home is not an easy task. Even when you get one, the price used to purchase it might be overwhelmingly high. However, given the services that it provides, a furnace is a must have appliance. It therefore follows that you should remove and clean its filters regularly just to keep it going. Having a clean and efficient furnace gives you a peace of mind given that your will be sorted all through the cold seasons. 

How Regularly Should You Clean Your Furnace Filter?

According to experts and my personal experience, cleaning or replacing the furnace filters monthly is a wise idea. This ensures that the amount of dust or dirt settling on your filter is manageable. When filters become too clogged/ dirty, you might have no other option other than purchasing new ones. 


Buying and installing a furnace comes with many advantages including keeping you warm during the cold seasons. However, as time goes by, you will notice that some dust or dirt will begin to settle on your furnace filters. As a result, the filters will become clogged and the system will not work properly. In that case, the best thing to do is clean the filters regularly. This article takes you through a systematic guide on how to achieve the same. It is my hope that this piece has helped you acquire new information. If so, kindly like and leave a comment below. 

About the Author Saimon

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: