How to Change the Filter in Your AC Unit: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the filter in your air conditioning unit is an important part of maintaining your system and ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently. Doing so can help extend its life, reduce energy bills, and improve indoor air quality. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to change the filter in your AC unit. First, you'll need to locate the filter.

It's usually located in the return air grille in the wall or ceiling, or in the blower compartment of the furnace. Once you've located it, make sure the power is turned off and then slide it out of the slot that holds it in place. Next, check the condition of the filter. If it's a disposable filter, you'll need to safely dispose of it and replace it with a new one.

If you have an electronic media filter, you don't need to worry about replacing it every 1-3 months; you can wait 6 months to a year before replacing it. However, if the air filter turns black, it may be due to candle smoke or more harmful sources, such as soot from a water heater or black mold. When buying a new filter, make sure you get an exact match for your model. This may require ordering it on the brand's website.

Additionally, be sure to check the Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating of the filter; this indicates its efficiency in cleaning the air. Buying a filter that is too small or large can cause gaps that allow dirt, dust, and debris to pass through, which can burn out your HVAC system. Once you have your new filter, insert it into the slot that holds it in place. If you have a reusable filter, you'll need to clean it before inserting it back into the slot. Finally, inspect and clean or replace your air conditioning filter regularly as part of your air conditioner maintenance routine.

Doing so can help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently and hopefully avoid an unnecessary service call from your local HVAC technician. Replacing an air conditioner filter is an easy and inexpensive way to maintain its comfort and hopefully save a little money in the future. If your HVAC unit is covered by a manufacturer's warranty or home warranty plan, be sure to follow their instructions.

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