Changing Your AC Filter – Why & How to Do It

replacing air conditioning filter
When it comes to HVAC, one of the key parts of your home air conditioning unit is the filter. A properly-working filter will help to clean the air that is being taken into the unit, allowing the air conditioner to operate more efficiently. Also, the filter helps the air conditioner avoid damage from debris and particles that would have otherwise make their way inside the unit. Of course, A/C filters need to be changed from time to time, as the old one will get dirty through regular use. It’s relatively easy to change, so there is no reason not to keep up with this chore.

Why Does It Need to Be Changed?

We’ve already touched on this a bit above, but let’s talk for a moment about why changing your AC filter is so important. For your air conditioner to work properly, it needs to suck in a large volume of air as it runs. Naturally, that air is not going to be perfectly clean, but rather it will have a variety of small particles that come along with it. Your air conditioner’s filter is going to screen those particles so the air going into the unit is as clean as possible.

It’s important to provide your air conditioner with clean air so you can get the longest possible life span out of its various parts. Dirty air going into your HVAC system can lead to wear and tear that would not have taken place otherwise. By replacing the air filter regularly, which is a rather affordable part, you may be able to delay the need to replace the entire air conditioning unit, which is obviously far more expensive.

Finding the Right Filter

The first step in the process of changing your air filter is acquiring the right filter for your AC unit. If you have the owner’s manual for your air conditioning system, the filter information will certainly be in there. If not, try searching for the model number of your air conditioner online and you should be able to find all the information you need. Once you know which filter you need, purchase it either online or from a local home store. It’s a good idea to stock a couple of extra filters in your garage so you always have one on hand when needed.

Making the Change

It’s an easy task to remove the old filter and replace it with a new one, but you do need to know where the filter can be found. If you can’t find it, ask for help from your HVAC contractor when you have the air conditioner serviced. The technician should be able to tell you where the filter is, and also answer any questions you may have about changing it out. When you are ready to actually make the switch, be sure to turn the power off before doing so. With that done, take the old filter out and insert the new filter in the proper direction. Most likely, there will be an arrow on the filter showing you which way the air should flow. Orient it properly, insert the filter, and close things back up. It’s just that easy!