How to Replace Your AC's Air Filter?

Learn how to effectively replace the air filter in your AC unit. Sandium provides expert help on HVAC filter and AC air filter replacement.

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
How to Replace Your AC's Air Filter?

HVAC systems function at their best when they are maintained regularly. Lack of maintenance will cause your air conditioners to provide poor cooling, spread bad odor in the air, make whirring sounds, or fail on you completely.

In these types of cases, you have no choice but to frequently call your HVAC technician and spend a large amount on repair work. Apart from this, an air conditioner that is not giving your home the best cooling is over working, consuming more energy, and increasing your utility bills too.

Is it necessary to change the AC air filter?

One of the most common causes of malfunctioning air conditioners or poor cooling is unclean air filters. Over time, a lot of dust and debris gets collected in the air filter mesh. This causes blockage of air that is trying to pass through. Hence you do not experience adequate cooling.

It also causes your AC to overwork, resulting in the wear and tear of parts. Hence checking, cleaning or replacing the air filter whenever required will ensure that your ac is functioning smoothly.

Changing an AC filter on your own

As changing the AC air filter is something that needs to be done multiple times and often in the peak season, it is best that you learn to do it by yourself so that you do not have to rely on any technician.

By learning where your AC’s air filter is located, which filter is needed, how to remove the old one and how to put a new one in place, you will save money and time.

Steps to change the AC filter

1. Locate the filter 

Depending on what type of HVAC system you have, there are various locations where the air filter might be. In certain systems, it is in the return air duct.

It can also be located near the blower system for your furnace if both your air conditioning and heating systems share the same ducts. You will notice a panel marked FILTER and the air filter will probably be located behind a mesh panel that needs to be unscrewed.

2. Get the right replacement 

The size of the air filter is usually written on its side. Make sure you order the correct replacement. If you are unsure, get your HVAC technician to explain to you which air filter your air conditioner requires, or to get it for you. If you are looking to keep your house dust, pollen and mold free, invest in a HEPA air filter.

3. Turn off the power supply 

It is only safe to open any panel and change the air filter when there is no power supply to the machine.

4. Clean or replace the old filter 

Once you remove the old filter, check the dust and debris that is collected. If you have a reusable air filter, wash it thoroughly following the cleaning instructions for it, let it dry and then put it back. If it is not a reusable filter or is extremely dirty, install a new one.

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