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How to Change an Air Conditioner Filter

A clogged air filter in the air conditioner can affect the efficiency of the device and requires replacement. Here are tips to change the filter.
Sonia Nair Apr 20, 2019
There are various applications that require good quality air for effective functioning. So, such machines and devices have air filters; so that the air taken in is filtered to prevent entry of dust and other impurities. You might have seen air filters in car engines and air conditioners.
However, once the air filter gets clogged, it affects the effective functioning of the machine. Hence, replacing such air filters is necessary. Replacing an air conditioner filter is not a difficult task, and can be done on your own, provided you know the right methods.

Why and When to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

In case of air conditioners, clogged air filters can reduce air flow into the building, reduce the cooling effects, let in the dust and other particles to the device and indoors; and can eventually damage other parts, like the blowing fan.
This causes the machine to use more power, and this results in soaring power bills. Apart from that, you get a supply of air with impurities and allergens. All these factors make it necessary to replace air conditioner filter periodically.
While in some air conditioners, the filter has to be replaced at regular intervals; there are other models, which require periodic cleaning of the filter. In the latter case, replacement is done, only if the filter is in a really bad shape.
In general, it is recommended that air filters in air conditioners have to be changed every 30 to 60 days, if they are in regular use. You may also refer to the manufacturer's instructions with regard to changing air conditioner filter.

Changing an Air Conditioner Filter

  • Shut off the air conditioning system and try to locate the filter. In case of a furnace system, the air filter can be found attached to the AC unit itself, but in a forced air system, air filter is usually located over a vent, through which the air is taken in. Mostly, the filter will be covered by a metal grill.
  • Once you locate the air filter, check its size, which may be noted on the side of the device, or else call up the manufacturer for the details of the air filter installed in your air conditioning system.
  • As you get the dimensions of the air filter in the system, purchase a new one of the same size. There are many types of air conditioner filters, and you can choose the one best suited for your requirement. Those who live in warm and dusty climates may go for more efficient filters.
  • Before removing the old filter from the system, you have to note how the filter is attached to the system. Make sure to mark the direction of airflow (look for similar markings on the old filter). Such details may be needed when you fix the new filter.
  • Remove the old filter from the system, and clean the grill with a vacuum cleaner. Now, fix the new air filter, in the same way as the old one was attached to the system. Take care of the right airflow direction, while fitting the new air filter. Once the new air filter is fixed, close the covering of the filter carefully.
Air conditioner filters are quite inexpensive and are easy to replace. You can do it yourselves, if you have a basic know how of the technique. Replacing air filters can be done at stipulated intervals or as per the instructions of the manufacturer.