Illustration for the article titled I Ask You Not To Ignore Your Filter Reset LightPhoto: Kharoll Mendoza (Shutterstock)

Window air conditioning units are typically used in apartment buildings and older houses without central air. Most people install it in their window, plug it in and forget about it, but at some point the reset filter button comes up and you scratch your head about how to replace it.

According to Energy.gov, a dirty air filter uses 15% more energy than a clean one. Regular maintenance of your air filters can save you money and extend the life of your air conditioner. Here’s how to replace your window AC air filter when it comes to replacing it.

How Often Should You Change Your Window AC Filter?

When an AC air filter collects too much dust and debris, it obstructs airflow and blows unwanted particles into your home. At some point the air cannot flow through the filter and blows it back into the device and constipation the air conditioner Evaporator coil (the thing that cools the air). To avoid clogging, Frost King recommends cleaning or replacing your air filters every six to eight weeks. That’s probably ambitious for most of us, so try at least once or twice during the summer.

Signs that your AC filter needs replacing

A variety of AC air filters are available. In newer models, filters look similar to a Window pane but consist of a plastic net that is surrounded by a plastic frame. Some are a Fiberboard that can be thrown away and replaced; others consist of foam resembles a soft version of steep wool. Check your filter regularly to see if it could use a good cleaning or if it appears too dirty and needs to be completely replaced.

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Characters you need Replace your filter are pretty self-explanatory: if your filter seems dirty, no matter what you do, it’s time to replace it. In addition, a single-use filter that is covered with dirt must be replaced with no trace of its original color. If you see signs of holes, cracks, or damaged parts, you’ll need to get a new one. These problems affect the performance of your computer.

Depending on the filter type, the exchange is quite cheap. A plastic mesh filter costs just under $ 24, while the disposable foam filter only $ 2 and $ 8 (depending on the foam type).

How to replace your window AC filter

Most window ACs have a plastic grate surface. Depending on the device type, the front can be removed to reveal the air filter located directly behind it. Although it looks like the face has fused into the device’s case, it clicks off the sides and top. You should loosen the cover, remove the filter, and either wipe it clean with a cloth or replace it with a new one if it is beyond repair. The filter and the front piece should right click as soon as you are done.

Other device filters slide in and out a top or side compartment. For any type of AC filter removal, refer to the owner’s manual for the specific make and model. Watch the Part Select how-to video for detailed instructions on how to remove a front-loaded filter.

Here’s how to clean your window AC filter instead of replacing it

A thick layer of dust on your AC filter doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw it away. If it’s reusable, give it a try clean removing so much dirt before it is deemed beyond repair.

First make sure that your device is switched off and / or unplugged, then remove the filter as described above. After removing the filter, take a handheld or full size vacuum with you attachment to remove as much dust as possible. Vacuum in a well-ventilated area or outdoors if you can. Then take the filter to your sink or tub and apply a small dollop of detergent to a washcloth. Using the soap cloth, wipe the filter with lukewarm water to remove any sign of dirt, and then rinse it off. Use a microfiber cloth, wipe the filter to remove any excess water, and then let it dry. Let the filter dry completely before putting it back into the AC device.

I recently completed this process and it took a full five minutes. It is so easy; You will wonder why you ignored this “reset filter” light all along.