You breathe in everything that’s in your home. That means dog hair, pollen, mold spores, the lingering smell of the time your husband microwaved fish . . . all of it.
What makes it all bearable and breathable is your air filter, which cleans the air as it cycles through. But most people don’t know how to do an air filter replacement, though it’s easy and takes less than 10 minutes.
Don’t be one of those people – learn how to do the quick switch below.
1. Find out What Air Filter You Need
If you’re changing the air filter in your home, you’ll need to pull your old one out to know the type and shape. Most have a brand name and a model number on them, so all you have to do is enter that into Google, or better yet, Amazon.
If you can’t find the exact model, go find the manual that came with your home or your air conditioning unit. It should have the exact sizes you need, in case the brand you were using is unavailable.
It’s much better to buy air filters in bulk since prices online change often.
2. Turn off the Unit and Put on a Face Mask
These are both safety precautions. If you forgot to get a mask or don’t have one, it’s not a problem. Simply try not to shake or bump the filter too much, so that the dirt and dust don’t get dislodged.
If you don’t know how to turn off the unit itself, you can always go to your breaker and turn off electricity to the unit’s location.
Turning off the unit is a precaution as well, you don’t want to get shocked while changing the filter.
3. Remove the Dirty Filter
If you’ve never changed an air filter before, note your brand of AC and then search a “how to change ___ air filter video”.
Most of the time the process is straightforward, but some units have little locks or clamps you have to undo first. Watching a video will keep you from pulling and tugging when you should be pushing or twisting.
There’s a chance that your AC filter is in your vents, which makes it harder to remove. If this is the case, it’s worth calling an HVAC professional. It won’t be that expensive, as it’ll take them less than ten minutes to complete.
It’s better they do anything related to vents or ductwork, in general.
4. Put the New Filter In
Place the old filter in a trash back or on the ground, if you’re outside, and dust off your hands. Then, take the plastic off the new air filter (don’t do it until it’s ready to be put in) and make sure it’s oriented in the right direction.
There should be words or arrows that tell you which side faces which way. Slide it into its spot and make sure it’s securely in place.
Now close the door or slot and congrats, you’re done! Your old filter should go in your outside trash bin.
Air Filter Replacement Follow Up
You should replace your air filter every three to six months, or more often if you have an especially sensitive nose. Dogs and pets in the house mean you need to replace it more often.
If you just did an air filter replacement because your AC wasn’t working as it should and it doesn’t help, you’ll need to call an HVAC professional. There may be an issue with coolant or a blockage somewhere in your pipes.
If you suspect an issue or don’t want to deal with a dusty filter yourself, click here.