AC Filter Replacement & Other Maintenance Tasks
When was the last time you changed your AC filter?
Do you know how to change it? Or which brand to replace your current one with?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone! Filter replacements are important, but you may be a little in the dark about the ins and outs of how to properly care for and maintain your AC filter.
Don’t worry — this article will teach you everything you need to know to ensure your AC filter is replaced and maintained properly. Let’s start by reviewing some of the current mistakes you might be making when it comes to taking care of your AC filter.
AC Filter Mistakes You Are Making
1 – Your Filter is the Wrong Size
Every AC model and brand is a little different. You need to match your unit up with the correct size AC filter. An ill-fitting filter leaves gaps around your air vents, preventing the filter from doing what it does best — removing particles, contaminants, and debris that is circulating in the air around your home.
2- You are Using the Wrong Kind of Filter
In addition to the right size, your air filter must also be the right kind. Your HVAC or AC system manual is the best resource to turn to for guidance on which filter works best.
It is also important to note that AC filters have what is known as a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). These ratings indicate how efficiently a given filter can remove particles in the air. A high MERV rating indicates that a filter is highly efficient at removing particles and maintaining indoor air quality.
If you have a unit that doesn’t support high-MERV filters, you may need to replace lower quality filters more frequently.
3- You Forget to Change the Filter
Changing your filter often is important not just for air quality, but also for the safety and health of those in your household. AC filters should be replaced every 30 to 60 days or so, depending on the quality of your filter, as well as any allergens you may suffer from.
Also, keep in mind that dirty or worn filters can negatively affect your unit efficiency. Your unit must pump air harder, and for longer, to bypass a clogged filter. If you notice that your filter has turned gray or black, it is time to replace it ASAP.
If you notice you are going through filters often, or more than once of month, consider scheduling an inspection with one of our AC contractors. Consistently worn filters can indicate there is a problem lurking elsewhere in your unit that is negatively affecting your filter and airflow.
Everything You Need to Know About AC Filters
The best way to properly maintain your AC is to routinely monitor, clean, and replace your AC filters as necessary. Your system is at risk of poor efficiency if normal airflow is obstructed by a dirty or old filter. Replacing a clogged filter with a new one can lower your AC energy consumption by as much as 5 to 15 percent.
Depending on the type of AC unit you have, your filter is located either somewhere in the wall, ceiling, or in the air conditioning unit itself.
You may also be able to use a reusable filter, while most need to be replaced. Reusable filters require more cleaning and upkeep than replaceable ones, but you may find that they work best for your unit and budget, especially if you need to ensure you have a clean filter on a monthly basis. A reusable filter may save you money in the long run.
It is important to know that if you have pets, allergies, or respiratory problems, you will need to take special care to stay on top of your AC filter replacement and maintenance. Irritants make their way into your home through your AC unit, which is nothing but a filter to protect those irritants from circulating. Maintaining your AC filter properly is crucial for your health and the safety of your family.
Routine AC Filter Replacement & Maintenance
Now that you know quite a few things about your AC filter, let’s discuss the details of replacement and maintenance.
Changing Your Filter
Changing your AC filter is a standard procedure, no matter what kind of filter you are using. While your AC user manual should come with instructions on how to properly perform an AC filter replacement, here are some basics steps you can follow:
- 1 – Loosen the screws or fasteners that hold the grille to the vent and remove the cover. Your air filter should then be visible. Reach in and slowly pull it out.
- 2 – Set your filter aside and inspect its condition. If it is dirty or brown looking, it is definitely time to replace it. If it appears white, you may be able to get a few more weeks of use out of it.
- 3 – Grab a new air filter if you need to replace it.
- 4 – You will see distinct arrow patterns along the edge of the filter. This is your guide to make sure the air filter is placed properly. If it is backward, air will be filtered in the wrong direction, making your filter useless.
- 5 – Once you locate the arrows, position them so that they are facing the wall.
- 6 – Place the new filter in the unit by easing the bottom in first and working your way to the top.
- 7 – Double check that the arrows are pointing toward the duct and that the filter fits well in its position.
- 8- Put the cover back on and tighten the fasteners.
Replace Your Filter Often
Don’t forget to change your filter! Use calendar reminders to let you know when it has been a month or two since your last filter change. It is especially important to stay on top of changes during the summer months when your AC is pumping around the clock.
Get an Expert’s Recommendation
Still confused? Unable to find the right filter to match your AC unit? That’s okay. You’re not expected to know every little detail about your HVAC system. We recommend giving us a call for an inspection so we can help you discover which filter brand, size, and style will match your needs and preferences.
Our experts work with families and businesses every day to educate and assist with AC filter replacement and maintenance. If you are at all concerned or confused about what kind of maintenance your AC filter requires, reach out to our team for professional advice.
Hire an HVAC Technician | Portland & Vancouver
When you work with one of our technicians in Portland, you will receive a thorough inspection of your AC. Our specialists will:
- Check your refrigerant for amount & quality
- Check duct leakage in central systems & seal cracks or holes
- Test for refrigerant leaks
- Check the accuracy of your thermostat
- Oil any motors
- Check belts for damage, tightness & wear
- Inspect electric terminals
- Clean and tighten connections
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- And much more!
You can always expect a high-quality inspection when you work with our team. This summer, don’t let AC maintenance fall by the wayside. We help you choose the right AC filter, replace yours for you, and offer other repairs and services that will keep you cool all season!Contact our team to schedule your appointment now: (503) 598-0966