Your air filter’s primary role is to catch dust, dirt, pet dander, bacteria and other particles in the air and to prevent them from getting inside your air conditioner, where they can damage expensive equipment. Its secondary purpose is to keep these airborne particles, some of which can be harmful to your health, from circulating through the air inside your home.
Needless to say, your air filter has a pretty important job to do. However, in order for it to work effectively, it must be changed or cleaned frequently. Here, we’ll tell you more about replacing your air filter and how important it is to do so.
When Should I Replace My Air Filter?
As a general rule, you should change out or clean your air filter about once a month. This is especially important during the summer months, when you’re using your air conditioner the most. If you have central air and heating, you’ll want to replace your filter just as frequently during the winter, when your heating system gets the most use. In the fall and spring, when temperatures are less extreme, you may be able to get away with replacing your filter every two to three months. However, if anyone in your household has allergies or asthma, or you have pets that shed heavily, you’ll definitely want to stick to the once-a-month guideline year round.
How Do I Replace My Air Filter?
Whether you clean your air filter or replace it with a new one depends on whether you’re using washable or disposable filters. Disposable filters are typically more efficient, but some people prefer to use washable filters so they don’t have to purchase a new one each month. In either case, the way to replace your air filter is pretty simple. Just follow these steps:
1. Turn off your AC. You should always make sure your air conditioner is completely off before handling any AC equipment.
2. Locate your air filter. If you have central AC, your filter will be located in the blower compartment of your system, in an attached filter case, or in a wall-mounted return air grille.
3. Remove the filter. It should come out easily.
4. Clean/Dispose. If you have a reusable filter, give it a thorough cleaning and allow it to dry completely. If you have a disposable filter, simply toss it out.
5. Replace the filter. Insert your new or freshly cleaned filter into position. There will be arrows on the filter indicating which way to slide it in. If you use disposable filters, be sure to make note of what size you need before heading to the hardware store.
6. Turn your AC back on and enjoy improved comfort. According to the Department of Energy, replacing your air filter can improve efficiency by 5 to 15 percent! So sit back, relax and enjoy the cooler air, better air quality and energy savings.
Get the Most Out of Your Air Filter!
We know some air filters are tricky to access and require professional service, so our experienced technicians are here if you need help changing it out. We also know that a clean air filter is nothing without a well-maintained AC system to support it, so we offer comprehensive, affordable AC maintenance plans. Sign up to become a Colman Heating & Air Planned Maintenance Customer today!