change the ac filter

How to Change the AC Filter?

AC filters are designed to remove airborne particles and purify the indoor air. Over time, these filters can get clogged and require a replacement. Changing the air conditioner filter is a relatively simple task, but it must be done correctly. The filter can make a significant difference in the overall performance of the entire system. Running an AC system with a clogged AC filter can cause serious damage. Here is why and how you can replace an AC filter.  

Steps to Change AC Filter

AC filters require replacement every few months. Some models may need a new filter every two to three months. By regularly changing the AC filter, you can extend the lifespan of your system and lower its operating costs and energy consumption. Here is how to replace the AC filter: 

Choose the Correct AC Filter

A crucial step is choosing the right filter. AC filters come in different sizes and shapes, so ensure you select the correct one. Typically the size or model of the AC filter can be found on the existing filter, but if you can’t locate it, you can refer to the owner’s manual. You can also visit the manufacturer’s website to determine the correct size. Installing an AC filter that does not match your system can lead to problems, including high energy consumption or poor air quality. 

Locate and Remove the Old AC Filter 

The location of the AC filter varies depending on the air conditioning system. Typically AC filters can be found in the air handler cabinet. Once you have located the filter, turn off the AC system before removing the AC filter. If you do not turn off the unit before removing the AC filter, all the dirt and debris can get sucked into the system. Typically you would also have to remove a cover before you get to the filter by either popping it out or unscrewing it. After removing this cover, clean it to remove all dirt and debris. 

Insert the New AC Filter

Most AC filters have arrows indicating the correct direction of the installation. Use those directions to install the new AC filter. Your AC filter should be able to slide smoothly into the slot without any loose gaps or bent corners because that can prevent the filter from working efficiently. After installing the AC filter, place the cover back in place. If the cover is fixed by screws, ensure all screws are tightened, but don’t over-tighten the screws as they can get damaged. Once you have installed the AC filter, the system is ready to be used. 

Signs of a Clogged or Damaged AC Filter 

The following are some of the common signs of a clogged or damaged AC filter: 

  • Increase In Utility Bills: If your AC system is using more power than expected and the utility bills have increased, it can be a sign of a clogged or damaged AC filter. 
  • AC is Overheating: One sign that your AC filter is clogged is that the AC unit feels excessively hot. Clogged AC filters can restrict airflow, which can cause the system to overheat. 
  • Dust Near the Vents: If dust starts accumulating in your home, especially in the surrounding areas of the system, such as the vents, it can indicate that the AC filter is clogged. 
  • Inadequate Cooling: The system taking more time to cool your home than usual is another sign of a damaged or clogged AC filter. In some cases, the AC is unable to blow cold air due to other issues, and you may need to call an air conditioner repair service. 
  • The Filter is Dirty: An obvious sign that the AC filter is clogged and requires replacement is when you see the filter is dirty.  

Importance of Changing AC Filter Regularly

When the AC filter is clogged or damaged, the entire system works harder to pull air inside, which can increase the wear and tear on components of the system and cause them to lose efficiency. So, if you do not replace your AC filters on time, you could end up dealing with frequent breakdowns and a reduced lifespan of the system. 

Dirty filters also increase the system’s carbon footprint as it consumes more energy to perform. Not replacing an AC filter regularly can drastically reduce the lifespan of your system because it would produce warmer air but use more power to operate. 

Clogged AC filters also allow more dirt and debris to accumulate in your home because mold, allergens, pet dander, and other contaminants can keep recirculating in the air instead of getting trapped in the filter. This can pose health risks, especially if you have people with allergies in your home. You should change clogged AC filters to keep the indoor air clean and free of allergens to prevent respiratory problems and other health issues. 

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