A trained professional will do most of the maintenance that needs to be performed on your air conditioning system. These systems are simply too complicated and too technical for the average homeowner to do their own servicing.
With that said, there is something that almost every homeowner can do without any trouble – change the air filter. This is a simple task once you understand how to do it, and it’s something that should be done regularly. Let’s use this article to take a closer look at how to replace a filter on your AC unit and how often the task should be completed. Of course, if you have any questions or need any help, just contact Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric at your convenience.
Find Your AC Filter
First, let’s talk about how you change the filter that serves your air conditioner. Fortunately, this is an easy job on most systems, however, we can’t tell you exactly where to find the filter for your unit unless we are there ourselves. In some cases, the filter is located within the unit itself, which may be in your garage, your basement, or your attic. It might fit into the side, top, or bottom of the unit, depending on the design and size of the equipment you have for your home.
If the filter is not located within the unit, it will be found elsewhere in the house, usually tucked away behind a grill built into a wall or ceiling. For homes with this system, it will be easy to find the filter just by walking around the house and looking for a spot where the drywall is interrupted by a metal grate or grill.
Looking at the owner’s manual for your HVAC system should quickly inform you of the procedure you’ll need to follow to change out the filter. Specifically, consult the manual to determine what size filter your unit uses. A trip to the home store will reveal countless different sizes of filters, so you need to know what you are looking for before shopping. Once you have all the details sorted, the act of changing the filter takes only a matter of moments – simply remove the old one, install the new one in the same orientation, and you’re ready to go.
When to Change Your AC Filter
As a good rule of thumb, changing your air filter every three months or so will work for the average homeowner. If you keep up with that schedule, you should give your air conditioning unit the fresh air needed to breathe clearly and perform optimally. If you wait much longer than that to put in a new filter, the old one will clog up and less air will make its way through the filter and to the air conditioner.
While three months is a good starting point, don’t hesitate to adjust your frequency based on your specific situation. For example, if you switch the filter after three months and find that it is already very dirty and clogged, try making the switch after two months next time. Since filters are affordable, this is the kind of task you want to stay ahead of and handle a little too soon rather than a little too late.
Why Does It Matter?
If you are tempted to ignore this task and just keep your old filter in there for as long as possible, the points below should convince you to swap it out right away.
- Improved efficiency. An air conditioner receiving plenty of clean air flowing through the unit will work more efficiently than one that is bogged down by a dirty filter. That means you’ll get better performance from the unit while using less energy at the same time.
- Longer lifespan. Another important function of the air filter is to keep the unit clean and free from the kind of buildup that could cause problems over time. So, the modest investment in new filters can be seen as an investment in the future of the air conditioner.
Given the modest cost of a new filter for your air conditioner, and the minimal time required to get the job done, there is no excuse to fall behind on this task. Get on a regular schedule of swapping out this filter and put it on your calendar along with some of the other things you do to care for your home. If you’d rather have a professional do the job, or if you need help with other aspects of your HVAC system, turn to Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric for reliable service at competitive rates. We look forward to serving you!