I have a heat pump/AC system with a washable air filter. I was told to clean the filter out and run water through it once a month.

He told me to let the filter dry for 3 hours before replacing it. I had a different tech tell me, however, to shake the water out of the filter and put it right back in.

So that leaves me with two questions.

  1. Is it safe to run my AC/heat without a filter for 3 hours?
  2. Is it safe to put a wet filter back into the unit?

Thanks for all help in advance!

edit: My filter looks something like [this one][http://i0.wp.com/www.anthonydpmann.com/upload/2017/09/28/goodman-permanent-filter-to-fit-in-goodman-air-handler-goodman-furnace-filters-l-8c8fd9b9ed6663af.jpg?w=200&strip=all] and measures 15 x 21 x 1. I looked around and was not able to find any disposable filters that size. Would it be safe to use a disposable one instead of the permanent one?

  • What does the manual say?
    – Moshe Katz
    Jun 30, 2019 at 20:41
  • Unfortunately, I dont have a manual for it. I bought the condo 5 years ago and never got a manual.
    – Yikes_H
    Jun 30, 2019 at 20:50
  • Can you find the model number sticker on the unit?
    – Moshe Katz
    Jun 30, 2019 at 21:30
  • Thanks for the help! I looked and it appears to be goodman aruf024-00a-1. I checked the manual and I couldnt find anything about cleaning the filter other than it needs to be replaced regularly.
    – Yikes_H
    Jun 30, 2019 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


It is not advisable to run the a/c without a filter in place nor to run the washable one while it is wet. Damp may be OK but not wet.

The best practice would be to get another of the washable filters and rotate them. Alternatively get a disposable filter that you use while the washable filter is drying.

You could speed up the drying process using a shop vac to pull water out of the filter, but then you would have water in the shop vac and you have to dry it out. Don't put a shop vac away wet; it will grow mold.

Alternatively you could dry out the filter by first shaking it gently, then pressing it moderately between two towels or terry cloth bath mats, then going over it with a hair dryer, but be careful not to overheat it.

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