The typical residential air conditioning system depends on many components working together. When they do, your AC unit takes the warm air, pulls the heat from it, and runs the cool air throughout your home. The result is a comfortable interior environment.

Before air enters the cooling unit, it must pass through an air filter. Your AC system depends on a clean air filter to protect your indoor air quality. Luckily, this is a straightforward task and should be done during routine maintenance. Here’s a helpful guide on how to change your home’s HVAC filters.

1. Turning Your HVAC System Off

It’s best to minimize any unfiltered air entering your cooling unit. When dirt and dust enter your air conditioner, it can cause extra wear and tear on the moving parts. If enough debris accumulates in the air ducts, it can restrict airflow.

Most thermostats have an Off setting. Alternatively, you can just turn the temperature up so it won’t kick on while installing the filter. This task shouldn’t take more than five to 10 minutes, so you won’t get too uncomfortable.

2. Removing the Old Filter

Before installing a new HVAC filter, remove your current one. First, go to the location of your home’s return air duct. This is usually a large rectangular hole in a wall or ceiling. Open the vent cover to access the filter. Some vent covers stay secured with screws, while others stay in place with metal latches or clips. After opening your home’s vent cover, remove the old air filter.

3. Cleaning Your Slats

While installing new HVAC filters, most homeowners notice a lot of built-up dust and debris within a grate or vent’s slats. Cleaning this grate prevents built-up dust from blowing around your home.

This item is easy to clean. For very narrow slats, you can clean them with cotton swabs. You can also use a damp washcloth, microfiber cloth, or rag to remove dust and debris from your duct cover. As you wipe your duct cover, try to avoid breathing any falling dust or getting it into your eyes, especially if the vent is on the ceiling.

4. Getting Your New Filter Ready

With your old HVAC filter removed, you can now remove any packaging from your new air filter. At this point, it’s wise to write down the date you install your new filter. Most filters have a small blank area for you to note their installation dates. Having this date written down is helpful in the following weeks and months, ensuring you don’t replace your HVAC filter too soon or too late.

5. Installing the HVAC Filter

With your new HVAC filter in hand, place it in the opening where you removed your old filter. Most HVAC filters have arrows noting what side should face down for proper airflow. After installing the new air filter, replace your vent cover over and secure it in place.

Why Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?

A clean air filter helps keep your HVAC system in optimal condition. When the filter is neglected, it gets clogged and restricts airflow. This forces the system to work harder, thus raising your cooling expenses. A dirty filter also allows dirt and grime to enter the air conditioning unit. This can not only harm the system but can also contribute to poor air quality.

How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?

Generally, it’s best to replace your home’s air filter once every 30 to 90 days. Change your HVAC filter more often if sudden or drastic outdoor air quality changes happen, such as wildfire or dust storms. Additionally, during an AC tune-up, your HVAC technician will change the filter accordingly.
Experts recommend more frequent HVAC filter replacements if anyone in your home:

  • Develops or has illnesses that cause breathing issues
  • Smokes cigarettes or cigars
  • Has allergies or asthma
  • Owns pets

Installing a new HVAC filter is a fast and easy task to complete. Plus, you’re doing your part to take excellent care of your HVAC system.

Sometimes it takes more than a new air filter to get an HVAC system in optimal condition. At Home Comfort Services, we offer installation, repairs, and maintenance for heating and cooling systems. We proudly serve the Grand Junction area, helping homeowners enjoy a comfortable home without HVAC problems. For improved performance and air quality, we provide duct cleaning. We also offer plumbing services. If you’re dealing with HVAC problems, contact Home Comfort Services for an HVAC inspection or service today.

company icon