Cleaning your RV air conditioner filter is important for two reasons. First, it helps keep the air in your RV clean and fresh. Second, it helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, which can save you money on your energy bills.
The best way to clean your RV air conditioner filter is to vacuum it with a vacuum attachment. You can also brush the filter with a soft brush to remove any dust or dirt that is clinging to it.
If your RV air conditioner filter is very dirty, you may need to soak it in a solution of water and vinegar for several hours before cleaning it.
Here is a complete guide on how to clean your RV AC filter in 6 simple steps.
Why Cleaning Your RV Air Conditioner Filter Is Important
Cleaning your RV air conditioner filter is important for the following reasons:
- It keeps the air in your RV clean – If your air conditioner filter is dirty, the air in your RV will be full of dust and other particles. This can cause respiratory problems for you and your family.
- It helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioner – A clean filter allows your air conditioner to work more efficiently, which can save you money on your energy bills.
- It helps extend the life of your air conditioner – A clean filter helps prevent your air conditioner from working too hard, which can shorten its lifespan.
Where Are the Filters On An RV AC Unit?
The location of your filters will depend on the type of air conditioning unit you have. If you have a ducted AC unit, that means that the actual AC unit rests on top of your RV, but there are ducts that run throughout your RV that carry the air in through vents.
This operates much like a house would. These filters are located on each individual vent rather than on the AC unit itself.
However, if you have an AC unit that is not ducted, it will sit on top of your RV and then blow through the bottom of the AC unit into your RV. This filter is located on the portion of the AC unit that’s on your ceiling inside the RV.
How To Clean An RV AC Filter: Step-by-Step
Cleaning an RV AC filter isn’t hard, and anyone can do it themselves. It just takes some time and patience to do it properly.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get the job done:
1. Vacuum The Filter
The first step is to vacuum the filter with a vacuum attachment. This will remove any surface dirt or dust that’s on the filter. Removing surface dust will prevent it from getting stuck in the bristles of your brush.
2. Brush The Filter
Once you’ve vacuumed the filter, use a soft brush to remove any dirt or dust that’s clinging to it. Taking the time to vacuum and brush your filter in preparation for the next step is important.
If you move on to soaking or rinsing the filter without doing this first, the dust will get caked on the filter and may not come off.
3. Soak The Filter (if necessary)
If your filter is very dirty, you may need to soak it in a solution of water and vinegar for several hours before cleaning it.
Using a water/vinegar solution or another cleaner of some sort can also help eliminate any odors that may be entering your camper from the outside.
4. Rinse The Filter
After you’ve soaked the filter, rinse it off with clean water. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any cleaner or residue that may be left on the filter.
5. Let The Filter Dry
Once you’ve rinsed the filter, set it aside to dry. It’s important to let the filter dry completely before putting it back in your RV. If you put a wet filter back in your RV, it could cause mold or mildew to form.
You can also dry it with a clean towel, but make sure you get it completely dry before replacing it.
6. Replace The Filter
Once the filter is dry, put it back in place and turn on your RV’s air conditioner to make sure everything is working properly. In some cases, RV air conditioners come with disposable filters.
If this is the case, you can simply throw the old one out and replace it with a new one. However, it’s more cost-effective in the long run to replace them with reusable filters.
How Often Do You Change Your RV AC Filter?
The frequency with which you need to change your filter will depend on how often you use your RV and where you take it.
If you live in a dusty area or if you frequently take your RV off-roading, you’ll need to replace your filter more often than someone who lives in a clean area and only takes their RV out on the weekends.
As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your RV AC filter every three months. However, if you find that your filter is getting dirty more frequently than that, it’s not a bad idea to change it more often.
For example, we live in our RV full-time, and most of the time, we’re parked on gravel roads. We have to change our filters about once a month, if not more often.
It’s also important, even if you don’t use your RV very often, that you change your AC filters at least once a year before you take it out for the first trip of the season.
This ensures that anything that has accumulated while it’s in storage is washed away.
What About Single-Use Filters?
As I mentioned earlier, some RV air conditioners come with single-use filters. These are generally made of paper or fiberglass and are only meant to be used once before being thrown away. While they may be more convenient, they’re not as cost-effective as reusable filters.
Plus, if you’re someone who likes to be eco-friendly, single-use filters are not the way to go. Not only do they create more waste, but they also generally aren’t as effective as reusable filters.
Because they’re not as effective, you have to change them much more often than reusable filters, which makes them even more costly.
If you have an RV air conditioner that uses single-use filters, I recommend upgrading to a reusable filter. You’ll save money in the long run, and you’ll be doing your part to reduce waste.
Reusable filters are also easier to clean than single-use filters. All you have to do is remove them, wash them off, and let them dry.
With single-use filters, you have to be careful not to rip or tear them when you’re removing them, and you can’t wash them – you have to throw them away and start with a new one.
Related: How much power an AC unit really uses.
How Do You Change An RV Air Filter?
Whether you’re using a disposable filter or a reusable one, you will have to take it out and replace it eventually. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult.
Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off the air conditioner. The first thing you need to do is turn off your RV’s air conditioner. You don’t want to be working with the filter while the air conditioner is running.
- Locate the filter. The location of the filter will vary depending on the make and model of your RV, but it’s usually located either in the ceiling or on the wall near the air conditioner unit.
- Remove the filter. Once you’ve found the filter, remove it from its housing. It usually snaps or locks into place and can be pulled out easily. If you’re using a reusable filter, make sure you clean it before putting it back in.
- Insert the new filter. If you’re using a disposable filter, you may need to cut it to size. Then simply put it in the housing and snap it back in place. If you’re using a reusable filter, make sure it’s dry before putting it back in.
- Turn on the air conditioner. Once the new filter is in place, you can turn your RV’s air conditioner back on to make sure it’s working properly.
Maintenance Tips For Your RV AC Filter
Now that you know how to change your RV air conditioner filter, here are a few maintenance tips to help you get the most out of it:
- Inspect the filter regularly. Even if you don’t use your RV very often, it’s still a good idea to inspect the air filter every now and then. This way you can catch any potential problems early and prevent them from getting worse.
- Vacuum around the air conditioner unit. To help prolong the life of your air filter, vacuum around the air conditioner unit on a regular basis. This will help remove any dust or dirt that could potentially get into the unit and clog up the filter.
- Change the filter more often if necessary. If you live in a dusty area or if you use your RV air conditioner frequently, you may need to change the filter more often than once a year. It’s better to change it too often than not enough.
- Clean or replace the air conditioner unit regularly. In addition to changing the air filter, you should also clean or replace the air conditioner unit itself on a regular basis. This will help ensure that it’s working properly and that your air conditioner is able to function at its best.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Finally, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing and cleaning the air filter. Each air conditioner is different, so it’s important to consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions.
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