When the temperature fluctuates, you and your family rely more and more on your home’s HVAC systems to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Forgotten filter maintenance is one of the top reasons for poor HVAC performance. The right approach is to be proactive about your heater and air conditioner care so that at the units perform at top capacity during peak usage.
If you haven’t thought about filter replacement for a while, don’t put it off any longer. Our AC and heater repair experts at Aire Serv® explain how it’s done.
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter
As a rule, we recommend replacing your home’s air filters every 90 days, or three months. Doing so on the first and last day of the quarter is a good way to keep track. If you have pets, are particularly susceptible to allergies, or have a family member with a compromised immune system, we recommend that you decrease this interval to every 45-60 days.
Air filter replacement timelines are also dependent on the quality and MERV rating of the air filters. Consult the air filter manufacturer’s recommendations for more information.
Why Is Air Filter Replacement Important?
Air filter replacement is important for two key reasons:
- Your health: Air filters improve the quality of the air we breathe. Air purifiers, air conditioners, and furnaces circulate air throughout a home. The filters on them stop airborne dust, pollutants, and pollen from recirculating throughout your home.
For families plagued by allergies, changing the AC filter and replacing it with a high-quality, high-MERV rating is one easy way to improve the air quality in your home. Common allergens like dust mites and pet dander are more likely to be trapped by a clean air filter. This is particularly important for central air conditioners, as they pull air in from outside a house. Even outdoor pollutants and pollen are potential risk factors when the filter clogs.
- The health of your HVAC system: Air purifiers, air conditioners, and furnaces are going to pull air into the unit whether the filter is dirty or not. The question is: How hard are you going to make it work? The job of an AC filter is to remove debris from the air before it enters your system. When things clog up, the unit pulls that much harder and uses more energy—causing a substantial rise in your electric bill. Dirt in the filter also shortens the life of your air conditioner because dirt pulls into the inner workings of the unit. The strain on the fan and motor from the increased effort take its toll.
How to Change a Home Air Filter
This is a quick, easy and important job.
Before you replace your HVAC system air filter, you’ll need to purchase replacement filters.
Be sure to:
- Check the service manual to see the proper filter size and style. Write this information down so that when you shop for filters you have it handy. The wrong size filter reduces effectiveness.
- When you filter shop, buy them by the case or stock up for several months. Find a convenient storage area nearby to make changing the filter a breeze. Pet owners should plan to change the AC or heater filter more often, especially those who have longhaired breeds.
To replace the filter:
- Locate the unit’s air filter. Filter housing location will depend on the type of unit in question. In general, we recommend looking in the area of the unit that pulls air in.
- Carefully remove the filter. Dispose of the used filter immediately to reduce the amount of dust and microbes that are re-released into the air.
- Install the new air filter. Pay attention to the arrow markers on the filter, as they indicate what direction to install the unit. Putting the filter in wrong affects the airflow into the system. Write the date on the filter in pen. This provides a reference, so you know when it was last changed.
Download our Air Filter Replacement Checklist
Breathe Easy With Air Serv HVAC Services
Your local Aire Serv technician is your go-to expert when it comes to furnace and AC service and repair. If you have questions about replacing your HVAC air filter or need HVAC service, you need Aire Serv. Schedule an appointment online or contact the Aire Serv location nearest you today.