“Eat your vegetables.” It’s probably something that your mother reminded you all the time growing up. Even if you didn’t like hearing it, the advice was for your own good.
It’s very similar to when we remind customers to change the filter of their air conditioning. Yes, we know you’ve heard it before – but we repeat it for the health of your household and mechanical system. With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to replace the filter in your air conditioning, before the unit is called into action.
Why it’s important to replace the filter
An essential part of a central air conditioning system, the filter captures small particles before the air passes through the unit and is circulated through the home. This protects the internal parts of the system and improves air quality in your home. However, when the filter is dirty, the airflow is restricted, which can lead to poor performance and costly breakdowns.
The good news is that replacement air filters are inexpensive and easy to install. Here’s how.
Steps to replacing the air filter
- Make sure the HVAC system is turned off
- Locate the filter compartment that should between the return air supply duct and the main AC unit. Open the door (if there is one) and slide the filter out.
- Make note of the size of the filter. Common dimensions (in inches) are 16x20x1, 20×25,x1, and 20x25x4, but there are other sizes and it’s important to get the right one.
- Purchase a new air filter at a home improvement store (you can also order one online if you are able to wait a few days). Make sure you get the right size – but you don’t necessarily need to get the same brand as before. If you have asthma, allergies, or pets in your home, you can ask a store associate about filters designed for those needs.
- Back in your home, remove the packaging but keep the filter frame (usually cardboard) intact.
- On the filter, look for an arrow, and point it in the direction of the airflow into the AC unit.
- Slide the filter into place and check to make sure it fits snug without any gaps around the edges.
- Look back at the packaging and see how often the filter should be replaced (typically every three months but this can vary by product). Write that date on a note or set a reminder in your phone.
- Close the AC filter compartment and turn the unit back on.
Air conditioning maintenance and tune-up
Changing the AC air filter is a simple DIY job and very important for the maintenance of your air conditioning. Once you take care of that task, you should consider having a professional tune-up to improve the performance and service life of your system.