RV Maintenance Tip #2 – Air Conditioning Vents and Filters

If you think you can just buy an RV or camper and just go on your way, we hate to tell you that you’re wrong.  These manufactured boxes on wheels need continuous maintenance to last you a long time.  We have this arrangement that Dan would take care of all exterior maintenance and I would take care of interior the best we could.

One of those things we do on a monthly basis is clean the overhead AC Intake and Output Vents in the ceiling, clean the ceiling fan and dust any cobwebs from the overheads.  Believe it or not, we DO get cobwebs as silly as that sounds…which means spiders and we just don’t do those creepy crawly little eight legged twits but that just keeps Krissie and Kandi earning their keep.

First, we shut off the Air Conditioning (so, don’t do this on a really hot day…unless you want to).  Because I’m short and our step stool still isn’t tall enough for me to unscrew take down the vent covers and filters, I have him do it for me, trying not to stir up or shake any dust from them as he takes them down.

Now, please don’t think we live like sows in a slop barn.  We don’t.  This is normal living in a small space with two clean and manicured kitty cats.  Two things are happening here.  We’ll show you the Air Conditioning Vent Cleaning Method we use.  I gotta warn ya, its not pretty!

Below, are the dirty air filters that were removed from the ceiling vents. This is after only a month in the summer.  

We beat the hades out of the black circular foam filters outside *cough cough cough* being careful not to rip or tear them.  Word to the wise, don’t do this right outside your door or open windows…or your neighbor’s doors or open windows…or in front of your face.  Dust is a magnet and is likely to go exactly where you don’t want it to go.
After we’ve gotten all the dust out, we bring them inside and toss them into hot soapy water allowing them to soak a minute or two.  We use chemical-free Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner (you can order that from the Young Living Website using my distributor #1495003) however, you can use whatever detergent you wish; Dawn liquid dish soap works too.  Rinse thoroughly and squeeze the water out of them.  Spread them on a dry towel and carefully blot them dry with another clean dry towel.  Set aside to dry completely.
We then toss the plastic vent covers in the same water allowing them to soak a minute or two and using a soft brush to clean between the louvers.  Remove, rinse and blot dry.  We set all the clean components aside to dry thoroughly.

While the filters and vent covers are drying, we move onto cleaning the ceiling fan.  We wipe it down with a clean damp cloth.  Since we run this often to circulate the air, we usually clean the ceiling fan once a week.  


Once everything is dry, we reinstall all the vent filters and covers and turn the AC back on.  Clean air everywhere!  Even if you don’t have pets, we highly recommend committing to this chore monthly.  Doing so, your AC unit will appreciate your diligence in it’s maintenance and upkeep.  Your lungs will appreciate you too.

Disclaimer:  These methods are what works with our RV model and lifestyle.  Yours may differ and your method and or timing should be applied accordingly.

6 Replies to “RV Maintenance Tip #2 – Air Conditioning Vents and Filters”

    1. Thank you for reading our blog, Susan. Depending on location, you may have to clean your vents more often than others. I know we do. Travel safe out there!

  1. I have done this, and they do get dirty but some of The foam filters are missing on some of our vents, is this going to cause a problem?

    1. Karen, you should have filters as they keep your ventilation system clean. You can find sheets of the black sponge filters at Walmart or Lowes. You can cut them to your desired size. Once you get them replaced, we suggest scheduling a cleaning as part of your RV maintenance check once a month. HTH’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *