There are two different types of air filters at the hardware store. One of the air filters is a flimsy, throw away, cheap filter. The other filter is a reusable filter. The guy at the hardware store explained the main differences to me, and I chose the air filter that could be cleaned. I don’t mind the extra work each month, to make sure the air filter is clean and free of debris. The air filter was a bit more expensive, but since I will be able to use it over and over, it will pay for itself in the long run. The new air filter was shiny and new, and looked out of place in my dingy looking air conditioner unit. The air filter worked great and the air smelled better than I had ever remembered before. Our indoor air quality was crisp and dust free. When it came toward the end of the month, I decided to wash the air filter and look at the dust. It wasn’t terribly bad at this point, so I decided to wait an additional two weeks before cleaning the air filter. I carefully removed the air filter from it’s housing area, and used an old toothbrush to remove the flecks of dust and lint from the screen. After I had finished with that step, I used the brush attachment on my vacuum, to pick up any loose particles that were left on the filter. Some people say to use the hose after cleaning the air filter, but it wasn’t very dirty, so I didn’t. It’s been six months since I started using this new type of filter, and I have been happy with the results.