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What to Know About Replacing Your Air Conditioner Filter

About 100 million homes in the United States currently have an air conditioning unit installed.

If you’re among them, then you know just how valuable your AC unit can be.

It keeps you cool in the summer months, helps you to feel more comfortable at home, and even keeps pets at safe temperatures when you’re not home.

But the truth is that many homeowners don’t know how important the air filter within their AC units actually is.

They know even less about how to properly care for it and how and when to change it.

This post is here to help.

In it, we’ll tell you how to change AC filters.

We’ll also let you know why it’s so important to change air filter units in your space, as well as to fill you in on where you can find the best AC filters for your budget and needs.

The Purpose of an Air Condition Filter

Before we talk any more about how to change the air conditioning filter in your home or business, let’s first make sure you know what they do and why they’re so important.

In a nutshell, the job of the filter is to keep the air that circulates throughout a residential or commercial space as clean and as free from dust and debris as is possible.

This will help to improve not only your health, but also the overall functionality of your air conditioning unit.

Filters can help to keep out pet hair/fur, lint, mold, pollen, dirt, and even different types of bacteria.

Especially if you have someone with a weaker immune system living in your home, having an AC filter is non-negotiable.

Air is pushed through the filter, which then traps any of the above-mentioned contaminants and allergens. This allows everyone in the space to breathe easy.

So, how can you tell about the overall level of effectiveness of a specific filter?

You’ll need to be on the lookout for what’s known as the MERV rating. This is a number ranking system, from 1 to 16, that tells you about the overall efficiency of a filter.

Of course, filters with a higher MERV rating are more effective, but they also cost a bit more money. Depending on the environment in which you live, and the size of your space and AC unit, you may not always need a heavy-duty filter.

How to Keep Your Filter in Good Working Order

Let’s also briefly discuss the ways in which you can ensure you’re performing proper maintenance on your filter.

The better care that you take of your filter, the less often that you’ll need to change or replace it.

Remember that if your air filter gets dirty or clogged up, something is much more likely to go wrong with your AC unit as a whole.

A dirty filter can put more strain on your unit’s fans, allow dirt and dust to become trapped in the ducts, and can even send your overall energy bills soaring.

We know that last problem, in particular, is something you’d love to be able to prevent.

In general, we suggest that you clean out your air filter, at minimum, once every 90 days. If you have pets or allergies, you may need to do so once every two weeks.

To clean it, take out the air filter and then clean up the space around the vent with a vacuum. You should also use basic cool water to rinse off the filter.

If the filter is especially dusty or dirty, you may need to use soap and water, or soak the filter in a bowl of soap and water.

Dry it with paper towels, and make sure that you don’t put it back in until the cleaned filter is totally dry.

Of course, sometimes, cleaning it alone isn’t enough. So, what should you do when you need to know how to install an air filter replacement?

Let’s tackle that next.

How to Change AC Filters

Now, let’s talk about the things you need to take into consideration when it’s time for a home air filter replacement.

The truth is that the process is easily something you can handle on your own.

You just need to know what to watch out for.

Size Matters

First of all, make sure that you’re using the right size of filter in your unit. Remember that the actual size of a filter will sometimes be smaller than the “nominal” size.

So, when you’re buying, we suggest looking at what the manufacturer lists as the sizing, and then measuring your own unit to see if it matches up.

If you buy the wrong size of filter, your AC coils could end up clogged. Plus, those nasty contaminants will have no problem getting into your home!

Look for the size of the filter on the side of your old one.

Find the Filter

Remember that, depending on the kind of unit you have, your filter might be in different places.

In some cases, you’ll see the filter inside the return air duct of the unit.

If you can’t find your filter, we suggest that you reach out to an HVAC service professional to help you.

When You’re Ready to Replace

First of all, make sure that the power is totally turned off of your AC unit before you attempt to change the air conditioning filter.

You don’t want to come into contact with live voltage, and you don’t want to let the unit suck in more dirt and dust when the filter is removed.

All you need to do to take out the old filter is just slide it away from the slot. You’ll likely be surprised by just how easy this is to do.

You can take a look here to decide whether or not you can clean the filter, or if it really does need to be replaced.

If the latter option is what you need?

Then take your new filter and insert it into the system.

How can you be sure that you’re putting the filter in the right direction?

You should look on the side of the filter to find an arrow. That arrow is designed to illustrate the direction that the air will go through the filter itself.

In other words, the arrow needs to point in the direction of the air handler, and away from the return air duct.

Then, put in your new filter, and enjoy breathing clean air once again!

Finding Affordable AC Filters

Now that you know how to change AC filters, let’s talk about something we know is just as important to you: how to find filters for the right price.

The truth is that big brand air filters are often seriously over-valued — and in some cases, their capabilities don’t justify their high price tags.

So, what’s the solution?

We strongly recommend that you look into working with aftermarket air conditioning filters.

You’ll be able to create a custom sized air filter, you can choose from trusted brands, and you can ensure that you’re getting the right thickness of filter for your needs every single time.

Even better?

If you shop with us to buy our filters, we make sure to offer you both free shipping and free returns. We offer filters that will work perfectly with a wide variety of HVAC units, furnaces, and simple air conditioning units.

We understand that keeping your family breathing easy is your number-one priority. That’s why we work hard to bring you only the best in air conditioning filters — for a fair price.

Ready to Buy a Home Air Filter Replacement?

We hope that this post has taught you how to change AC filters in a simple, no-nonsense way.

At the end of the day, we’re willing to bet that the process was nowhere near as difficult as you feared it might be.

Plus, now you’re also much more aware of why air filters matter and what they can do for your home.

So, are you ready to start shopping?

Whether you’re looking for humidifiers, air filters, or even filters for your pool or refrigerator, we’re here to help.

Be sure that you spend some time on our website to browse through our extensive list of products.

And if you find that you have questions while you’re shopping?

Never hesitate to reach out to us for answers.

No matter the size or type of unit, or the kind of filter that you need, we’ll help you get it for less.

1 thought on “What to Know About Replacing Your Air Conditioner Filter”

  1. Thank you. I am just getting back to USA(Florida) after 18 years abroad-mostly US Marine Corps. House uses Aprilaire #2400-filter #401. You have several selections. One now inside is basic. I have allergies but dust in house. What filter is best for me. I appreciate your help

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