The air filter is one of the most important parts of the home even though you might not realize it. It is as important to your air conditioning system as the breaker box is to your electrical system or the sink drain is to your plumbing system. In other words the AC system would not be the same without it. That is because it would make the air in your home less clean and make your AC system less efficient.
As important as the air filter is, it does not last forever, which is why it needs to be changed on a regular basis. Of course, before you change your air filter you will need to get a replacement. You can find a comprehensive selection of them online where you will find various air filter sizes, including one that is the perfect fit for your HVAC system.
What Does My Air Filter Do?
As the name suggests, the air filter filters out harmful particulate matter from the air that circulates through the air conditioner, creating a more clean and breathable environment for everyone in the home. It does so by trapping particulate matter like dust, bacteria, pollutants, and smoke, all of which have harmful effects on the airways and respiratory system. Those particulates can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems like asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), bronchitis, and more.
Every air filter has a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) rating that indicates how effective it is at trapping particulate matter. The higher the number, the better it is, however most homes only need air filters with a MERV rating between seven and twelve. The air filter also has an effect on the energy bill. That is because the fan of the AC unit has to use more energy to push air through a dirty fan. That can jack up your electricity bill, which is why you need to change your air filter on a regular basis.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
Every air filter has a recommendation by the manufacturer on when you need to change it, but generally a high quality air filter needs to be changed about every six months. Lower quality air filters will need to be changed more often and the lower the quality, the more often it will need to be changed, which can be as frequent as every month. So buying a lower quality air filter because it’s cheaper will just end up costing you more in the long run since you will be buying a replacement more often.
How Do I Change My Air Filter?
It is easy to change your air filter because it is meant to be easy to access. You first need to locate the main vent for your AC system. It is usually located in one of the larger rooms in the home or in one of the main corridors. Once you find it and have a replacement air filter ready, just follow these simple steps:
- Turn off your air conditioner.
- Remove the access panel from the air vent.
- Remove the current filter.
- Place the new filter where the previous filter was located. Make sure that it is installed correctly by ensuring that the air flow goes in the same direction as the arrow printed on the side of the filter.
- Replace the access panel.
- Turn on the air conditioner.
That’s it! It shouldn’t take too long and you won’t need any tool more complicated than a screwdriver.
Change Your Air Filter When The Time Comes
Since it will be a while before you need to change your air filter, it can be easy to forget to do so. That is why you should post a reminder on a calendar that you consult often. Because if you forget to clean your air filter it could have a negative effect on your air quality and your energy bill. So don’t forget to change your air filter when the time comes if you want to keep everyone in the home breathing nice and easy.