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How to Find and Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

Many homeowners often overlook one simple yet very important aspect of their air conditioning system — the AC filter. Believe it or not, this minor component plays a large role in home comfort AND in maintaining your AC unit. Regularly changing your AC filter is a task that can make a big difference in the quality of your indoor air and may even save you money in the long run. And the best part? It’s not as hard as you might think.

Why It's Important to Change Your AC Filter

First things first, why should you bother changing your AC filter? A clean filter means that your air conditioner can run efficiently, keeping your home cooler without overworking itself. This significantly impacts the air quality within your home and can save you plenty of cash that should be going toward more rewarding things like your daily wants or needs.

Lower Air Quality and Air Flow

A congested filter restricts the flow of air, forcing your AC system to exert more effort to circulate air through your home. This restriction can lead to a noticeable decrease in air quality since less airflow means less cooling capacity.

Long Cycling

A dirty filter can cause your AC unit to run continuously, an issue where the system rarely turns off without properly cooling your home. This inefficiency strains your HVAC system and can also freeze your cold coil solid as it requires hot air flowing over its cold coil to operate properly. This creates frost and ice. Be on the lookout for this, or signs of it melting, like a puddle outside your air handler.

Larger Payments for Your Energy Bills

When your air conditioner works harder to push air through a clogged filter, it consumes more energy. The fan is blowing harder, and the system is operating longer. This inefficiency is reflected in higher utility bills. Regularly changing your AC filter can help keep energy consumption — and your bills — lower.

You Might Find Dust Everywhere

Excessive dust accumulation in your home can be a sign of a dirty AC filter. When filters are clogged, air circulation drops, therefore air filtration is lower too. Keeping the filter clean can significantly reduce household dust. The higher MERV rating the smaller particles that can be trapped all the way down to viruses.

When Should Your AC Filter Be Changed?

The frequency at which you should change your AC filter can vary based on many factors, including the type of filter, the air quality in your area, whether you have pets, type and amount of carpets, and if any household members have allergies. A standard rule is to check your filter monthly and change it at least every 180 days. However, homes with pets or people with allergies may benefit from changing filters every 60-90 days.

Do All Air Conditioners Have a Filter?

Indeed, all air conditioners have filters. Their fundamental role is to cleanse the air circulating through your HVAC system, and keep dust and dirt off of the cold coil that transfers heat. This assures that the air in your home remains free of contaminants like dust, pet dander, and pollen.

Where Is Your AC Filter Located?

Finding your AC filter can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if you're unfamiliar with your system. Filters are commonly positioned in the return air duct or within the blower compartment before the air reaches the air handler. Some systems feature the filter directly at the air intake point. If locating your filter proves difficult, consulting your unit’s manual or seeking advice from a professional can provide clarity.

Changing Your Air Filter — Follow These Steps

  1. Turn Off Your AC: Safety first. Turn off your system to prevent any airflow while you’re changing the filter.

  2. Locate the Filter: Using the information above, find your AC filter’s location.

  3. Remove the Old Filter: Take the filter out carefully. Make a note of the size and direction of airflow indicated on the side.

  4. Insert the New Filter: Make sure it’s facing the right direction (the arrows on the frame should show the airflow direction towards the AC unit).

  5. Turn Your AC Back On: Once securely in place, turn your system back on.

  6. Note The Date of Service: Either in a notebook, on your phone, on the filter itself.

It’s as simple as that. Keeping a few extra filters on hand makes this task even easier, so you’re ready whenever a change is due.

Having Trouble With Your AC Unit? Contact Dual Temp HVAC Today

Did you know that something as simple as changing your AC filter could improve your home's air quality and efficiency? Many homeowners are surprised by the difference this small act makes. But if you're not comfortable doing it yourself, have questions about your AC filter, are curious about AC repairs, or need any other residential AC services , don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Dual Temp HVAC. We’re here to make sure PA and NJ residents have a home that stays comfortable, with clean air and an efficient cooling system. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you keep your home's air fresh and your AC running smoothly.

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