How to Clean an HVAC Filter: A Pronto Service Pros Guide

How to Clean an HVAC Filter: A Pronto Service Pros Guide

Your HVAC unit needs a little TLC to work at peak performance. One of the most important things you can do for your system is to schedule preventive maintenance in the spring and fall, ahead of seasons when you’ll depend on your central air system for round-the-clock comfort.

Between maintenance visits, however, you must be diligent about changing or cleaning the filter. Here’s how:

How to Clean Your HVAC Filters

Follow these steps to clean your reusable HVAC air filter:

  1. Turn off your HVAC unit.
  2. Locate the filter: Look for the service panel on your unit to find the filter. Some units may have multiple filters, so make sure you’ve checked all vents.
  3. Vacuum the filter: Place the filter on the ground facing up and vacuum as much of the dust and debris as possible. This should remove most of the dust and loose debris. If your filter has grime buildup, move on to step 4.
  4. Deep clean if necessary: Fill your sink with one part vinegar and one part warm water, then let your filter soak for an hour. If your HVAC filter is only mildly dirty, place the filter in a sink or bathtub and rinse thoroughly with warm running water. You can also use an outdoor hose on your filter—just make sure that you aren’t using any pressurized settings as this could damage your filter. Use your hands or a soft brush to rub away any remaining debris.
  5. Dry the filter thoroughly: Let the filter dry completely before reinserting it.

Even if you have a reusable air filter, it needs to be replaced when it shows signs of wear and tear. Check your air filter for excessive grime, tears, holes, or other signs of damage.

Why Air Filters Matter

The filter within your HVAC unit removes harmful contaminants from the air and protects the system from dust and debris that can hinder operation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.6 million people die yearly from indoor air pollution. An HVAC air filter works to stop dust, dirt, pollen, viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants from circulating throughout your home.

Replacing your HVAC filter improves your home’s air quality, protecting everyone’s health, extending your HVAC system’s lifespan, and enhancing its performance. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, in particular, are exceptional at screening out contaminants, making them ideal for people with respiratory issues.

What Are the Different Kinds of Air Filters?

There are several types of filters your HVAC system might use:

  • Pleated filters: The pleats create a larger surface area to trap more contaminants.
  • Fiberglass filters: Basic, disposable fiberglass filters are mainly designed to protect your HVAC system. They do little to improve your air quality.
  • Electrostatic filters use an electrostatic charge to attract airborne particles and dust.
  • HEPA filters: HEPA filters are highly efficient at trapping contaminants, which is ideal for those with allergies or respiratory conditions.
  • Washable filters: While more costly upfront, these filters can save money in the long run because they can be removed and cleaned.
  • UV filters can kill viruses and bacteria circulating through your central air system.


When cleaning any HVAC equipment, always follow the manufacturer’s directions on your unit. Even reusable filters must be replaced when they show signs of wear and tear—keeping your air filter clean will ensure you get the best air quality possible in your home.

Choosing the Right Filter for Your HVAC System

Selecting the appropriate filter for your HVAC system is crucial. Each type of filter has its benefits and is suited for different needs. For instance, a HEPA filter is best for households with allergy sufferers, while an electrostatic filter can be advantageous for homes with pets. Understanding the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of filters can also help you choose one that balances air quality and airflow.

Energy Efficiency and Your HVAC System

A clean filter improves air quality and boosts energy efficiency. Dirty filters can cause your HVAC system to work harder, increasing energy costs. Maintaining clean filters, you ensure optimal airflow, which helps your system run more efficiently and reducing energy billing.

Importance of Regular HVAC Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your HVAC system goes beyond just cleaning filters. It includes checking and cleaning evaporator coils, inspecting air handlers, and ensuring the system is running efficiently. A well-maintained HVAC system can reduce energy costs and prevent unexpected breakdowns, ensuring your home stays comfortable year-round.

Client Testimonials: Quality You Can Trust

At Pronto Service Pros, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service. Our clients have consistently praised our professional and knowledgeable technicians. For instance, Kevin Jackson shared, “Fred is an excellent technician and is incredibly knowledgeable. Rather than treating the symptoms of my cooling issue, he took the time to properly diagnose it, explain it, and give a few different options to fix it.” Similarly, Danelle Lareau mentioned, “Fred was very kind and professional!” These testimonials reflect our commitment to providing top-notch service and ensuring customer satisfaction​​​​.

Need an Air Filter Replacement? Contact Pronto Service Pros!

If you’re in need of an air filter replacement, Pronto Service Pros has got you covered. We offer a wide range of HVAC services, including air filter replacements, maintenance, and repairs. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to ensuring your HVAC system runs efficiently and effectively.

Don’t let a dirty filter compromise your air quality or increase your energy costs. Contact Pronto Service Pros today to schedule your air filter replacement or HVAC maintenance. You can call us at (813) 341-5400, chat with us via text, or book online from the comfort of your home. Our team is always ready to assist you with your HVAC needs.

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