You should be changing your AC filter every couple of months. If you don’t change your air filters regularly, they will eventually start failing, which lets dust and other contaminants into your home and could ruin the performance of your HVAC system. Here are a few tips on successfully changing out your AC/furnace filter.
Step 1: AC vs. Furnace
First things first: let’s talk about the name. Though it seems like they would be two different filters, they’re actually the same thing. This is why it’s important to change your air filter year-round, as the air filter is working just as hard during the colder months.
Step 2: Locate the Air Filter
If your HVAC system is in the wall, the air filter is typically located between the return duct and the HVAC unit itself. Take the cover off, and slide it out. If your system is in your attic, the filter is probably located in a vent in your ceiling. Open up the vent, and you should be able to easily remove the air filter.
Step 3: Check Your Filter Size & MERV Rating
It’s important to have the right measurements for your new air filter. Pull out your old filter to take note of the dimensions – they should be labeled on the edge. You’ll also want to check the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. Basically, the MERV rating tells you how good your air filter is at doing its job on a scale of 1 to 16. Check out your owner’s manual to see what kind of MERV rating your AC unit can handle. Or, if you can’t find it, you can always call an HVAC technician to inspect your unit and make a recommendation. (Extremely high MERV ratings are only needed in hospitals and other health-sensitive buildings.)
Step 4: Face It The Right Way
You want to be sure your new filter is facing the right way – because there is a wrong way to do it. To do this, you need to know which direction your air flows. Air flows from the return duct into the main unit. So, if your return duct is on the right, your air flows to the left. There should be an arrow located along the edge of your new filter. That arrow needs to be facing the same direction as your HVAC’s airflow.
For more assistance with finding the right air filter for you the quality HVAC technicians at Express Air Conditioning and Heating have got you covered! For AC and heater repair, installation and air duct cleaning, Express Air will get the job done.