How, When and Why: Changing Air Filters

Dated: October 12 2020

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Air filters are the most crucial part of the central HVAC system, yet often overlooked. They not only filter out dust and pollen accumulated at your house but also pull larger objects such as chunks of loose insulation that would have presented a risk of fire or any other damage. 


Remember, not changing your air filter may result in clogged air, which is the most common cause of HVAC system failure. So to keep your air filters in good condition, it's important to get them checked and changed regularly. 


In this post, we’ll learn how, when, and why to change home air filters. 


How to Change Air Filters


Air filters can be changed in four simple steps:


Step 1: Purchase a New Air Filter


Before buying a new filter, it’s vital to check the manual to get the right size or number of your filter. The size and number are usually printed on the side of your existing air filter. 


Step 2: Turn Off the HVAC Unit


Before changing the filter, you should turn off the HVAC Unit for safety purposes. If you are not able to turn off the unit, then shut down the circuit breaker.


Step 3: Remove the Dirty Filter


Air filters are mostly located on the right or bottom side of the unit, making it easy to pull out of the slot. However, some filters can also be found in air vents. In this case, you might need to call an HVAC professional. 


Step 4: Install New Filter


The air filter easily slides into place. All you need to do is follow the arrows marked on the filter and figure out which side should be facing the outside air. 


When to Change Air Filters 


Air filters should be changed every one to two months, especially if you live in a high-pollen area or have pets at home. Air filters are inexpensive, and changing the air filter is an easy task that generally doesn’t require a professional. In most cases, all you need to do is slide out the old filter and replace it with the new one. 


Remember, the longer the filter is in place, the more allergens, dust, and dirt are accumulated, clogging the filter and reducing its efficiency. 


Why you Should Change Air Filters


You need to change air filters for the following reasons:


  • Extend the Life of your HVAC Unit - A dirty filter is the most common reason why air conditioning and heating systems break down. A clogged filter doesn’t allow the air to pass through, causing the HVAC system to overheat. Hence, it becomes necessary to maintain and change the air filters regularly, extending the life of your HVAC unit. 


  • Keep Energy Costs Down - Apart from protecting your HVAC unit from damage, changing your air filter helps to keep your energy costs down. A dirty or clogged filter uses much more energy than the new one, resulting in a higher electricity bill. By keeping your air filter clean and changing it regularly, you can save up to 15% on energy costs. 


  • Maintain Healthy Air Quality - Dirty air filters and the hard-working HVAC system may release excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases, worsening air quality and spreading allergens throughout the household. Replacing your air filter is an easy fix to maintain healthy air quality.  


Changing your air filter regularly, not only saves you from unnecessary repairs but also gives you peace of mind.

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