How To Change The Air Filters In Your Home

close-up shot of professional repairman changing filter for air conditioner with screwdriver

Is your air filter filled with dust and debris? If so, then it’s time to replace it. A properly maintained air conditioner won’t only ensure the circulation of fresh air in the house, but itll last longer and save money on utility bills.   

You should check your air filters monthly and they should be replaced every three months. A clogged AC filter prevents air from flowing through, the dust and debris will cause wear and tear to the filter and other parts of the AC too.    

Changing an air filter only takes a few minutes of your time and Voila! You are up and running again.   

Before you change your air filter, you need to know the following factors:   

  • Where is the air filter located?  

The air filter is mostly located in the return air duct. This is the duct that draws air from the rooms back to the system for reheating or cooling. These ducts are mostly found in the ceiling or on the walls.   

You can also refer to the AC unit manual to help you find it and it will specify the size too.  

If you can’t find the air filters, contact your technician to help you identify the air filters’ location.  

  • How do I know the size of my air filter? 

Air filter sizes are printed on the outer border of the filters. They are three-dimension sizes like 20 x 20 x 1 and 16 x 20 x 1. Be sure to check the size before you buy a replacement to avoid buying the wrong filters.   

Air filters with higher MERV ratings (7 -12) filter air more effectively than lower ratings. They cost more, but theyre worth the cost. Therefore, you may order the 20x20x1 air filters for fast delivery at your doorstep.   

  • How often should I change my air filters?  

Keep in mind that during winter and summer the air conditioning units do a lot of work meaning they should be replaced after a shorter time compared to spring and fall when they do less work.  

If you live with more than one pet or someone with an allergy, air filters should be changed after one and a half months. For a home without pets, you can change air filters after the recommended three months. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of using air filters in your home.

Follow these steps to change your air filters.   

1. Turn Off The Power  

Safety comes first, you’re at a risk of getting shocked from the high voltage. Turning the power off protects both you and the air conditioning system. Keeping the system off will also prevent dust and debris from being sucked into the air conditioning system.  

2. Remove The Old Filter  

Don’t handle the filter roughly. Take it out slowly to prevent dust and debris from falling off creating a mess.  

Remember to check an arrow on the frame, which shows the direction of airflow.  

3. Insert The New Air Filter  

Remember the correct direction of airflow first. Insert the new air filter the same way the previous one was to maintain direction.   

The direction is important because the home air filters cant filter the air from both directions. They only filter the air from one direction.  

To avoid forgetting the direction arrow, you can draw the direction of airflow on the outside, to guide the next person changing the filters.  

4. Check IThe Air Filter Fits Correctly 

After you’ve placed the new air filter, inspect it to see if it fits correctly. You can return the old filter to clear doubts. If the new filter doesn’t fit correctly, it’s either bigger, smaller, or damaged.   

If you bought a wrong filter, you can request for a replacement with a correct one.  

5. Turn On the Air Conditioning Unit  

This is the final step. Close everything after youre done and turn the AC unit on to see if everything works correctly.  

Everything should work well if you followed the steps. If you still find a problem after following the replacement steps, then you should contact your HVAC technician to help. It could be another problem that needs fixing, which isn’t just the air filter.  

Parting Lines 

That’s it! Youre done. You can enjoy fresh purified air. Air conditioning units, just like any other appliance, needs to be regularly maintained to ensure efficiency. Eventually, problems are bound to happen. Learn how to check your air conditioner for any problems before contacting your technician for professional help.   

How was your experience of changing the air filters in your home? Do let us know in the comments below.