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Homesteader reveals why your air conditioner may be wreaking havoc on your allergies: 'You're breathing this stuff in'

"I live alone, and this actually helped me."

Best way to clean the air filter on an A/C unit

Photo Credit: iStock

It's time to stop ignoring the ominous blinking red filter light on your air conditioning window unit. In a seven-minute YouTube video, this homesteader shared a step-by-step solution to cleaning your A/C unit, and it's way easier than you'd think. 

The scoop

If your unit has a blinking red light, that means the air filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. Kevin Lake (@HomesteadingOffTheGrid) shared a YouTube video showing how to easily clean the filter so you don't need to spend money or wait around for maintenance to fix it.

Lake says most window A/C units have similar designs, even different models, so this hack will work for most systems. Use the latch on both sides of the front vent to remove it from the unit. Removing the vent will likely reveal a very dirty air filter. 

Air filters trap contaminates in your unit's ductwork to protect the air quality in your home. It is likely covered in dust, dirt, and other debris. 

"All the air that comes into your room … passes through this, and if your filter is this filthy … you're breathing this stuff in," Lake says in the video. 

But don't fret. Lake has a simple way to clean it. Bring the filter to your sink and rinse both sides of the filter. Be sure to use a sink strainer so the dust does not wash down the drain and potentially clog the pipes. 

After your filter is clean, you can let it air dry. 

Once the filter is completely dry, place it back in the unit, and you'll have clean and cool air filtering into your home. 

How it's helping

This hack ensures your A/C unit works as well as possible and provides filtered, clean air in your living space. 

If the filter is caked with dirt and dust, the unit will be less efficient at cooling your space. Regularly cleaning out the filter will keep you cool during warmer months. 

Dirty filters can jeopardize your health, too. The air you breathe will filter through a sheet of dust and debris, which can trigger allergy symptoms like coughing or even difficulty breathing for those with asthma. 

This hack is the more sustainable option, too. Sometimes it seems easier to throw out a dirty or broken item and buy a new one. Investing in simple solutions, like cleaning out the filter instead of buying a replacement, can prolong the lifespans of home essentials. This can reduce waste and save the resources and energy needed to create new products.

What everyone's saying

Viewers were thankful Lake shared this quick and efficient cleaning hack in the comment section. 

"I live alone, and this actually helped me with the filter on my little air conditioner," one viewer wrote.

"[That's] easier than I expected," another user said. "Thanks for showing this."

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