Dirty air filters are the No. 1 reason most HVAC systems don’t operate efficiently.
The filter protects the return air intake in your home, which sucks the air from inside your home into your HVAC unit to be cooled or heated.
Air filters remove dust and allergens from the air before returning it to your rooms.
When filters are clogged with dust and debris, air can’t flow freely. The system will be forced to work harder to supply the same amount of cold air to your home. And the air in your home won’t be as clean, potentially causing health issues.
Replace your air filter at least once every six months — more often if you have a pet or have problems with allergies.
In most of today’s HVAC systems the filter is located at the return air register — a grill that covers the duct to the air conditioner. It may be located on a wall or the ceiling. If you have a large home or one with several stories, you may have more than one air return.
If your end tables are covered in dust, or if the grill to your air intake has dust clinging to it, it’s time to change the air filter.
It’s easy to do.
First you must purchase a new air filter at a home improvement store or at Walmart. The size of the filter’s dimensions is printed on the side of the frame. Make sure to get the right size.
The are a number of different types of filters in a range of prices. There are inexpensive fiberglass filters (which must be replaced more often), HEPA filters (which filter out 99 percent of particles), pleated filters (which remove smaller particles like pet dander, pollen and bacteria), and washable air filters (which reduce waste but must be regularly maintained).
A good rule of thumb is to choose one that’s in the middle of the price range — or one that meets your specific filtration needs.
Turn off the HVAC before you begin.
Unlatch the air return’s grill cover with the clips at the top of the frame. The cover will swing out of the way. (Be careful — if it’s on the ceiling it may hit you in the head.
You will see the air filter just inside the frame. Remove it and dispose of it (or, if it’s the washable type, rinse off all the dust and allow it to air dry).
Turn new air filter so the arrows are pointed into the opening. Slide the filter into the frame.
Then close and latch the grill. And you’re done!
If you need assistance with replacing your air filter, Sam Pollard & Son can help.