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The Home Depot

Air Filter Replacement Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Heating & Cooling > Air Filter Replacement Guide
Air Filter Replacement Guide

It is easy to take an air conditioner for granted. It is mounted on a window, wall, or ceiling and runs in the background as we go about our lives. We most often pay attention to the air conditioner when it is not working properly and we find the room we are in to be too warm. The improper functioning of the air conditioner is often due to inadequate maintenance. A typical example of this is air filter replacement. A dirty or choked air filter will restrict the air flow thereby affecting the ability of the air conditioner to perform to its full capacity. Replacing an air filter is a simple task that can normally be done in a few minutes without the need for any special tools or equipment.

  1. 1.The Importance of Air Filter Replacement

    Replacing an air filter is a simple task that can normally be done in a few minutes without the need for any special tools or equipment.

    There are three important reasons why an air filter should be replaced regularly. The first is of health. The air filter traps dust and grime (some air filters even trap microbes) to keep the air in the room clean. A dirty air filter will not be able to do this and may even begin to release the trapped dirt into the room. Secondly, the effectiveness of the heating or cooling provided by the air conditioned depends of free circulation of air. If the air filter is blocked with dirt, the air flow is restricted and the efficiency of the air conditioner becomes affected, leading to uncomfortable temperatures being maintained. And thirdly, when the air flow is restricted the unit will work harder trying the reach and maintain the temperature it is set for. This means that the power consumption increases, resulting in higher utility bills, and also more wear and tear on the air conditioner itself.


    One simple act of replacing the air filter can resolve all these issues. The owner’s manual will give you the frequency at which the filter is to be replaced. But if the unit is operating in very dusty or polluted conditions, it may need more frequent replacement. Checking the filter frequently and replacing it ahead of schedule, if required, is the way to go.


    All HVAC equipment manufacturers recommend frequent and regular replacement of air filters to protect both the people in the home and the unit itself as well as well as to control energy consumption. If you are looking for air filter suppliers in your area, you will find the information you need online. Just hop on Google for instance and conduct some simple research.

  3. 2.How to Replace an Air Filter

    Air filter replacement is a simple 8 step process:


    1. The location of the air filter will depend on whether you have a window or split type air conditioner. Check your owner’s manual to find the location. In general it is located in front of the evaporator unit.


    2. Open the evaporator or other cover to access the filter.


    3. If the filter is covered by a metal strip, you will have to remove it to free the filter.


    4. Check for any screws or clips that are used to hold the air filter in place. Remove the screws and keep them in a safe place. Open any clips.


    5. Remove the air filter. In case you do not have an identical replacement piece with you or you want to change the filter type, measure the filter and note down the dimensions. Also note down the manufacturers name and part number which will be somewhere on the filter.


    6. Check online or with an HVAC parts depot for air filters that will fit your unit and provide the type of filtering you want.


    7. Slide the new filter into the unit. The filter will have and “Air In” and “Air Out” marked on each face. Make sure the “Air In” faces the direction from which air enters the filter.


    8. Replace any metal strip, screws or clips that hold the filter in place and close the compartment.


    The air filter has been replaced.

  4. 3.Get the Comfort You Deserve

    HVAC equipment is not cheap. Having paid for it, you deserve to derive the maximum benefit from it. Regular air filter replacement will go a long way in protecting your investment and ensuring that you obtain the highest value from it. Of course breathing clean air should always be an incentive to having a working air filter.

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