The 14 Filters to Replace at Home

Dirty or clogged filters can cause various inconveniences in the home: from the vacuum cleaner that does not clean to the dishwasher that reduces its performance to the air conditioner which, in addition to cooling less, can spread the Legionella bacteria in the environment .

Consumer Reports , the American consumer bible, thus advises to keep clean and / or change frequently 14 filters that are very common in the home. Here’s what they are.

Water filters


If you have a water dispenser or an icemaker (which makes popsicles), you need a filter to remove small particles or contaminants, such as lead and chlorine, and impurities that cause bad odors or odors. Filters for fridge should be replaced periodically following the manufacturer’s manual instructions, often twice a year.


These appliances  are equipped with a manual filter that retains food residues and an automatic one that “cleans” the drain water. If the first must be “released” every 2-3 weeks, the second must be kept under control because it can significantly reduce performance and return unclean dishes.

Filter jugs

Filter jugs, very often end up in the viewfinder for their unproven effectiveness and for the danger of some filters, are not very common in USA and widely used in the States. According to Consumer Reports, filters need to be replaced once a year.

Sinks and taps

The filters installed under the sink (to reduce sediments and some pollutants) and those at the end of the taps (to stem the limestone) must be maintained continuously and replaced periodically. The first at least every 4 months.


Environmental purifiers, not very common in USA and basically very inefficient, have several filters and annual maintenance is quite expensive. If the pre-filters can be cleaned easily, the actual filters must be replaced according to the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual.

Vacuum cleaner

Failure to replace the filters in your vacuum cleaner can cause loss of suction and cause dust to “splash” into the air. By changing the filters regularly, especially on bagless models, you save time and improve the performance of the appliance.


A dirty filter can inhibit the performance of the dehumidifier . Maintenance does not require particular effort as the filters in most models can be easily removed and cleaned in minutes. Keeping the filters clean will improve the air quality and the life of the appliance.

Kitchen hoods

The filters of the extractor hoods placed above the kitchen burners must be replaced at least once a year to ensure good absorption of odors and fumes. Once the filter has been removed, it is a good idea to clean and degrease the surface and then apply a new one .

Microwave oven

This appliance also has filters that serve, together with the fan on the back, to “capture” the bad smells of cooking. Replacement is not easy at all and cleaning also requires more than one precaution, although according to CR experts the filter should be washed in hot soapy water at least twice a year.


Not very present in our homes, however, these appliances are slowly spreading. What causes a worn or dirty filter? An increase in drying times, a higher energy consumption and therefore a higher bill. Some models have sensors that indicate a reduced air flow … a sign that most likely the filter must at least be checked.

Gas ovens

Ventilated ovens with a dirty filter can prevent proper airflow, leaving the air unfiltered and making cooking worse.

Centralized air conditioning

They can produce both hot and cold and cover the whole house or even the whole building. The filter is unique and the company that takes care of maintenance will have to provide once a year, perhaps to “switch on” the heating, to check and / or replace the filter.

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Air conditioner

All air conditioners have a filter and some are equipped with a filter indicator that signals when it needs to be cleaned. Before the hot season, however, the filters must be cleaned to prevent the appliance from “pumping” a little cold and worse that it can “colonize” by the bacterium of Legionella.

How you do it? You have to remove the filter or filters depending on the model and clean the inside thoroughly and then wash the filter in the sink in hot water. Wait for it to dry well and then put the filter back in its housing.

Vacuum cleaners in the bathroom

Keeping the filters and the “mouthpieces” constantly clean (with a small brush to remove major debris and with a damp cloth to remove the sediments of dirt) allows you to make this vacuum cleaner work at its best, which “captures” bad smells in the bathroom.

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