Continuing a Tradition of Service for Over Ninety Five Years!

You Need to Replace Your AC Filter—Do You Know How?

Posted on: February 7, 2018

Replacing the AC filter is one of the easiest ways to ensure optimal performance. Especially in the cooling season when homeowners run their air conditioners around the clock, air filters quickly become clogged with debris. Fail to change out the filter and you could be facing a repair, higher energy bills, and decreased lifespan from the AC.

It’s not necessary to face any of these problems, as swapping out the filter is a simple task—if you know what you’re doing.

You Need to Replace Your A/C Filter—Do You Know How?

You Need to Replace Your AC Filter—Do You Know How?

In many homes, the air filter is located near the thermostat. Go to the thermostat, and look for a vent. If you can’t find a return vent with the filter located close by the device, look at the air conditioning unit. Some models house the air filter closer to the system, rather than at the return-air grille.

Here are the next steps to follow:

  • Unloosen the fasteners holding the front of the grille to the vent, and gently remove the cover. Set it aside.
  • The air filter should be located directly behind the cover.
  • Simply reach in and pull it out.
  • Set it to the side, and assess its condition. A dirty filter will usually be a dingy, greyish-brown color when it has passed its prime. If it still looks whitish, there may be some life left in it.
  • To replace a dirty filter, grab the new air filter.
  • Identify the arrow pattern on the edge of the filter. The direction of the arrows is important to facilitate proper airflow. They should not point out, or at you. Otherwise, airflow will be restricted.
  • Once you find the arrow, position the arrows so that they are facing the wall.
  • Place the air filter back into the return duct opening, gently easing the bottom portion of the filter in first and then the top.
  • Double check that the arrows are pointing toward the duct.
  • Give the filter a gentle pat to ensure that it fits snugly into the opening.
  • Put the cover back on.
  • Tighten the fasteners.

Now, the job of changing the air filter is complete. Replacing a clogged or dirty filter can help your home feel more comfortable because air is flowing freely through your system. Still having comfort or humidity issues even after replacing your AC filter? Installing a whole-home dehumidifier could help.

What’s the Best Type of Filter to Use?

Not all filters are manufactured the same. In fact, there are a range of filter types and efficiencies from which to choose. Take a look at the filter you removed. If it’s blue and has a flat surface, it’s likely a standard filter, which doesn’t trap very much debris and dust. Consider upgrading to a higher-efficiency air filter, one with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 8 or higher. Mid-range efficiency MERV filters do a good job of trapping the kinds of dust and debris that floats through the home’s air, and it will keep your home’s air cleaner. Before you swap out your old filter for a higher-efficiency one, however, talk to an HVAC professional. There are risks to installing a filter that’s not designed for use with your HVAC system. You can also check the owner’s guide, as the manufacturer will outline the range of filter efficiency ratings that are ideal to use with the system.

How Often Should You Replace the Air Filter?

For most homeowners, it’s helpful to change the filter every three months or so. Change it more frequently if you have pets in the home that shed, if your home has a lot of activity, during home remodeling projects, or if someone in the family suffers from allergies. If your home gets very dust for any reason, you may want to change it more often. Once the summer season really heats up and you’re using the AC more frequently, it’s helpful to check the filter every month—and whenever it appears dirty, change it.

If you’d like a representative from Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning to walk you through changing the air filter, or if it’s time to schedule air conditioning maintenance, give us a call today! We help homeowners and businesses in West Volusia County with all of their cooling and heating needs and we service every brand of HVAC equipment, from Tempstar to Carrier® and everything in between. We take pride in helping residents drive optimal home performance through our quality air conditioning, furnace, and heat pump solutions.

Call today for AC service, maintenance, and more in AstorDeLandDeLeon SpringsDeBaryDeltonaLake HelenOrange City, and Pierson, Florida.