A step-by step guide on how to change your AC filter & why it’s important

Date: 2022-06-07

A step-by step guide on how to change your AC filter & why it’s important

The purpose of the air filter is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC system. You'd be surprised of how much dust accumulates there in such a short period of time. Due to the recent risk of viruses, AC filters have received a lot of attention recently. Given the uncertainties surrounding the virus's airborne transmission, some scientists advise using higher-efficiency filters to trap virus particles.

If you're wanting to replace your AC filter for that reason, read our handy article to learn more reasons why air conditioner filter replacement is important, and how to take care of it safely. When your air conditioner's filter becomes clogged, dust and dirt enter the unit, inflicting wear and tear on the components. You probably understand what it means: the more wear and tear on the parts, the sooner they wear out and cause a breakdown. In addition, the blocked filter inhibits enough air from flowing through the system to keep it functioning correctly.

Knowing when to change your air conditioner filter is useful. During peak season, you should check and change the AC filter every month. That's probably more frequently than you'd like to call your go-to HVAC technician. Of course, we love seeing you, but this is a job that you can certainly tackle on your own if you want to. Knowing how to change the AC filter yourself is very advantageous.

How to Replace an Air Conditioner Filter

To change the AC unit filter and keep your system functioning well, follow these simple instructions.

Locate the Filter

The task of replacing the air filter in your air conditioner is simple and quick. But first, you'll need to figure out where the AC filter is placed. That can be the most difficult portion because there are various possibilities. The filters in some systems are situated in the return air duct. This is the one that returns air from your room to the air handler system of your air conditioner. Finding the filters in a complex system with several air handlers and return ducts might be difficult. It's also possible that the air filter for both systems is positioned in or near the furnace's blower system if you’re heating and air conditioning systems share the same ductwork. If that's the case, it's normally near the bottom of the furnace, near the front. You may be able to view and reach the filter without opening anything, or you may need to open a metal panel on the front or top of the blower (labeled FILTER). Hooks or screws can be used to secure the panel. Inquire with your HVAC service technician. Simply tell him you want to learn how to change the AC filter, and he'll show you where to look for it, how to remove the old one and replace it, and where to acquire the correct filters for your system.

Use the right replacement Filter

The other potentially difficult aspect is ensuring that you employ the appropriate filters. The filter size is often printed on the filter's side. When in doubt, ask your HVAC technician to acquire you a supply of the correct filters, or show you the filter's size information so you may order them yourself.

Also, keep in mind that filters that do more than just keep dust out of your air conditioner may be necessary. You should invest in HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 10 or above if you want to improve the air quality in your room by removing pollen, mold, and other dangerous particles.

Most importantly, before selecting better efficiency filters for your system, consult with an HVAC specialist! Reduced air flow might cause a drop in performance and even repair concerns in some circumstances. Your system may also be unable to accommodate the filter's size.

How to change the AC filter: STEPS TO REPLACE

1.DISCONNECT THE POWER: For two reasons, this is critical. The first concern is your safety. Don't come into contact with live voltage! The safety of your equipment is the second factor. If you remove the blocked filter while the machine is still operating, dust and debris may be sucked into the unit. It's critical that you turn off the electricity at both the unit and the circuit breaker.

2. DISCARD THE OLD FILTER:  It's as simple as sliding it out of the slot that holds it in place.

3. EXAMINE THE CONDITION: Check the condition of the AC filter once you've removed it. Does it appear to be filthy and dusty? You won't notice much light coming through if you hold it up to the light. Depending on the sort of filter you're using, it needs to be replaced or cleaned. Replace it even if it's been in use for less time than the manufacturer recommends. Many things can influence how quickly your filters clog. The smog alone can impair the life of an air filter.

4. SAFELY DISPOSE OF THE OLD FILTERS: Place the filter in a plastic bag and toss it away in a trash receptacle outside your space if it contains impurities.

5. WASH THE FILTER: Do you prefer disposable or reusable filters? A disposable filter is usually made of cardboard with a paper or fiber mesh surface. A permanent, reusable filter is constructed of a more durable substance with a metal frame and a washable coating. Check the manufacturer's washing directions if you're cleaning a reusable one. Most likely, all you'll need to do is rinse with water and let dry fully. In certain circumstances, you can just vacuum the dust away.

6. PLUG IN A NEW OR CLEANED FILTER: Now all you have to do is reassemble it properly. The direction that air should travel through the filter is indicated by an arrow on the filter's frame, which is always away from the return air duct and toward the air handler mechanism. Make sure the arrow on the filter points away from the return and toward the air handler when you replace it in the housing.

Wasn't that simple? Set a reminder for yourself so you remember to change your AC filter every month now that you know how. If you don't have a regular HVAC repair technician to inquire about how to change an AC filter, it's probable that you've been neglecting other vital maintenance jobs as well. Regular maintenance keeps your equipment in good functioning order, extending the life and efficiency of the parts. This means the system uses less energy, requires fewer expensive maintenance, and has a longer lifespan.