All too often, the air conditioning system is something that goes completely unnoticed—that is, until it stops working. But once the cool air stops flowing, the issue might be too big for an easy fix. While an experienced professional from All Weather Contractors can get your AC up and running in little to no time at all, there are things you can do to keep your HVAC system in working order. One of the easiest steps you can take to ensure that your HVAC system continues to run at max efficiency is to regularly change your AC filter. This is something simple that just about anyone can do, without the need for a service call.
Why Change the Filter?
The AC filter is a crucial piece of the HVAC puzzle. The reason for this is that the filter picks up loose particles of dust, mildew and debris, thereby keeping the air that flows through your home as fresh as possible. However, even more crucial to the longevity of your HVAC system, the filter prevents these small bits of debris from getting lodged within the workings of the HVAC unit, thereby helping to prolong the life of the HVAC system and reducing the risk of some of the more common causes of system breakdowns.
Changing the Filter: A Quick How-To Guide
The first step to changing the filter in your HVAC unit is to find where the air handler or return vent is located. Depending on the age of your HVAC system and home, the air handler may be in one of several locations in your home. Most often, filters are located in the wall of your home located close to the air handler. In many households, this will be a wall that backs up to the laundry room or utility closet. In older homes, the AC filter can often be found in the floor. This is most common when the HVAC unit is placed underneath the house.
Once you find where the filter is located, remove the grate covering and you’ll be able to easily pull out the cardboard lined filter. The filter itself is comprised of fiberglass, and is most often going to be in a rectangular shape. It is important to make note of the size of the filter. You can find a replacement filter at most home supply stores, and even at some grocery stores.
Don’t remove the filter from the casing until you have a new filter ready to take its place. Running your AC without a filter can result in damage to the AC, as there is nothing blocking debris from going into the system. Once you have the replacement ready, simply lift the filter out of the casing and put the new one down in its place.
Filters need to be replaced somewhat often. While most experts will say to replace the filter at least once every 90 days, in Florida, where humidity and mildew build-up are more common, it is actually recommended that filters be replaced every 45 days. While some filters are designed to last longer, it is not a good idea to go too long in between filter changes.