How to Replace Air Conditioning Filter

The life of your air conditioning unit is extended when you have it serviced and maintained regularly. Like other appliances, it requires cleaning and checkup of its moving parts. It’s a good thing to know how to replace your air conditioning filters. Since this is done frequently, you can save a bit if you know how to do it yourself.

Here are a few things you should know on how to replace air conditioning filter, not only to save but also to avoid any mishap. The instructions below are for homeowners with HVAC systems.

How To Replace Air Conditioning Filter

Refer to your HVAC system’s manual so you will recognize the air intake filter cover as well as the type and size of the filter/s. You might have quite a few of them.  You’ll know that your HVAC filters are dirty when you can see clumps of dirt clinging to the vents or there’s dust build up on the vents.

Here are the things you have to do:

  • Turn off the system. Find your return air intake. The covers will look like louvered cabinet doors. Release the clips at the top of the cover frame to open the door. The air filter is just inside the frame.
  • Take note of the filter’s size, color and position. Do the same for the other return air intake you have in your home, because in some cases, the filter sizes are not the same. Do not remove the filters yet. Make a list before you go out to buy the filters. Once you know the sizes, you can buy several and keep them handy for your next filter-changing job.
  • You’re now ready to change the filter. Open the door of the cold air return intake once again and take out the filter. Position the new filter with the arrows indicating airflow pointing into the door opening. Move the filter so it fits snugly into its frame. Return gasket, levers or seals into their original positions. Close the door and reposition the clips. Do the same for all the filters of the cold air return intake in your home.
  • Turn the unit on and observe if the filter remains in place.

Now you know how to replace the air conditioning filters of your HVAC system. Do not forget to wipe or wash the vents (doors) to remove dust buildup.

Why Change the A/C Filter?

Your HVAC system is a home fixture that will benefit greatly from regular maintenance, such as changing its filter every three months. Learning how to replace your air conditioning filter helps improve the performance of the HVAC system. The task is simple and the filter does not cost that much. If you’re after comfort and convenience, doing this task regularly can make a big difference.

A window air conditioner or an HVAC unit has filters to prevent airborne dust and other particles from getting through the system and hindering the movement of sensitive parts. Knowing how to replace air conditioning filter will prevent the system from gradually dropping pressure that can reduce the airflow or even a blowout, which will result in air not getting into the system.

Such conditions decrease the efficiency of the HVAC system, making it work harder to provide you with cool or warm air. Mechanical failure can result from the machinery working harder. The end result can either be replacement or major repair.

A dirty filter traps moisture, causing dampness on the filter, which can induce mold growth. Mold is not something you want circulating through your home, as it is a serious health risk.

Importance of changing the air filter

Different types of air conditioning filters are available on the market, each one having a different set of benefits. But the most important thing to remember is that whatever type of filter your air conditioning system uses, it requires checking, maintenance and changing to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your system.

An air conditioning filter may be small and trivial compared to the other parts of the unit but don’t let that fool you. A clogged air filter can do excessive damage to your air conditioner. Replacing them regularly ensures that you extend the longevity of your air conditioner. Regular replacement of the air filter, which does not cost much, can save you thousands in possible replacement or repair costs. Neglecting the air filter and allowing dirt to build up are two of the leading causes of air conditioning system failure.

A clean air filter ensures that it can trap airborne particles to make sure that you always have healthier, fresher and cleaner air. It is beneficial especially if you have children and elderly people living in your house. You can prevent allergies and asthma attacks. When you filter is clean, you prevent the circulation of pollen, dust mites, dust and other particles that are hazardous to your health.

Replacing the air filter of your air conditioning system prevents unnecessary damage. Your system will run smoothly and consume less energy that equates to lower energy bills.

You also help the environment when you replace your air filter regularly. When the air filter is dirty and clogged, your air conditioning system works harder, which means that it releases more greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide into the air. Being friendly to the environment does not mean that you have to give up your comfort. But you can be eco-friendly with the simple act of changing the air filter on your air conditioner.

The frequency of changing the air filter depends on its type. Generally you change the filter between 1 and 3 months as recommended. If you live in a dry and dusty area, change your filter once a month. Otherwise, do it every three months. This is the absolute maximum and beyond that, you’re likely to breathe dirty air inside your home.

Air filters easily get dirty due to the process of cooling your home. The air flows from outside through your unit an then pushed into your home once cooled. You cannot be sure that outside air is clean, which is why an air filter is needed. It is the only barrier that stops all the debris, allergens, dirt and dust from getting and circulating into your home.

When to call a Fischer A/C technician

We are all for our customers to enjoy some savings. Thus we encourage our customers, especially DIY-ers to learn how to replace air conditioning filters because it is an easy task, and it should be done at least four times a year. However, we encourage you to call Fischer at 206-202-9499 or 425-406-3050 for technical service assistance when you notice the following:

  • The HVAC system did not turn on.
  • The fins of the fan are bent. The fan spins slowly or there’s undue noise.
  • The coils are clogged or there’s an excessive accumulation of dirt.
  • There’s an unknown source of moisture within the system.

It’s practical to know how to replace air conditioning filters as this could mean a more comfortable stay indoors in summer and a snuggly warm home in winter.