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How to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

As a homeowner, the most important step you can take to maintain your HVAC system is to regularly change your air conditioner filter. To keep your cooling system in top shape this season and beyond, Douglas Cooling & Heating explains why a clean filter is so beneficial for your HVAC system, ways to make filter changes quick and easy, and when you should call our team for professional assistance.

Clean Filters Are Critical to HVAC Performance and Efficiency

The filter within your heating and cooling system serves as a protector for all the delicate sensors and components housed within your indoor HVAC equipment cabinet. Many believe the filter’s sole purpose is to remove airborne pollutants and improve air quality inside the home – this is merely a bonus the filter delivers by doing its primary job.

Over time, the air filter becomes full of contaminants that clog up its surface area. This leaves no more surface for the filter media to capture particles that circulate through the system. Therefore, those contaminants circulate into the HVAC equipment and back into your living areas.

Operating your heating and cooling system when you don’t change your air filter doesn’t just cause problems related to more contaminants in the air. Because the surface of the filter is clogged with particles, the filter restricts air movement through it. Air conditioners and furnaces rely on proper airflow through the system to operate efficiently. Without a clean filter, the HVAC equipment must use more energy to circulate air. This wastes energy, increases your utility bills, and can even cause the system to overheat and sustain damage.

If you want to keep your heating and cooling equipment in good condition, keep your energy bills low, and breathe cleaner air inside your home, change your AC filter regularly.

Tips to Help You Change Your HVAC Filter

It’s tough to say exactly when you need to change your AC filter. Frequency depends on the type of filter you use in your system, how often your HVAC unit runs, and attributes about your household that affect indoor air quality, such as indoor pets, smoking inside the house, family members with allergies or asthma, etc. Low quality filters often need changed monthly while those with higher MERV ratings can last much longer.

As a general rule, you should check your filter every month to see if you need to change it. Simply remove the filter from the cabinet and take a look. If the filter media surface is covered with grey matter and no clear space is left, it’s time to change it. If it is difficult to tell, try this trick – hold the filter up to a light; if you can see the light shining through then there is still some life left, but if not, go ahead and replace it with a new one.

Many people forget this important maintenance step because filters are out of sight, out of mind. Try marking this task on your calendar or setting a reminder in your phone each month to help you remember to change your AC filter regularly.

When You Need Help

Most homeowners find it possible to change their HVAC filter without any outside help. But there may be times where you need professional help. Here are a few scenarios where you should call our heating and air conditioning technicians to assist with your air filter change needs:

  • You can’t find where the filter is located.
  • If you cannot remove the filter from its compartment.
  • If the filter compartment covering is stuck, and you cannot detach it to access the filter.
  • If the new filter doesn’t fit inside your system correctly after you change the old filter, even though it is the correct dimensions.
  • The filter falls out of its frame and becomes stuck in the HVAC equipment.
  • You remove the old filter and find out that it’s wet and moldy.

HVAC Help from Douglas Cooling & Heating

If you have issues when you change your air filters, don’t hesitate to call us for help. The pros of Douglas Cooling & Heating are here to help you care for your cooling equipment, and we will make sure your system is good to go with the right filter! Contact us today to schedule service.

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