Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by HVAC
How To Change Air Conditioner Filter In Your House
I’d like to take a minute or two to discuss 1-inch pleated HVAC Air filters as they are some of the most common air filters on the market today. Not only are they so readily available at almost all your local home improvement stores, Targets, Wal-Marts, etc., they are also some of the most ineffective types of HVAC air filters that you could buy over the counter. Stores of this nature have a lot that they have to deal with and shelf space is a major concern.
So of course, they are only going to supply you with some of the least cost (to them) inhibitive air filters and quite frankly, only a select few that “fit” their shelving plan. Yeah, sure there cheap, can usually pick up a 3-pack for under $40 depending on brand and quality, but what good is it really doing you, it’s not catching the amount of dust particles, mold or pollen that it should be and can actually make your air conditioner system work harder and longer than it should. And it doesn’t even matter what the MERV Rating is that you grab.
Not only that, in a short period of time you’ll be right back dropping another $40 on some replacements.
But, if you absolutely must stick with these type of filters then you should know a few things. 1-inch pleated HVAC air filters need to be changed regularly, like clock-work. Their typical lifespan is only about 1 month, you might get 2 out of them but I wouldn’t push it.
Sometimes depending on how dusty it is in your home or due to other environmental issues like air quality or the type and brand of filter, you might even need to change them more frequently than monthly.
This could be especially true if you are the type of person who likes to keep the windows open to feel the cool gentle breeze of outside air flowing through your home. Or you might just be a dog or cat lover, these pets can wreak havoc on an air filter and definitely shorten the life of any filter causing much more frequent change routines.
And if you don’t change them in a timely fashion, you could end up costing yourself a lot more money than you ever thought you had saved.
What could happen if I don’t change the air filter?
Well, there’s quite a few things that could occur if you don’t change your home air filter and the end result is typically one or two things. Not changing them could affect your health conditions and it could end up costing you quite a bit of money in some costly repairs. As I’ve said before, not maintaining and changing your air filter could lead to some very poor indoor air quality which could lead to other health issues.
But let’s talk about the part that tends to hit home the most. It could actually cost you money you could be saving, which everyone knows we sure need in this economy. It definitely makes your air conditioner much less efficient than it could be. Those dirty air filters do nothing more than restrict the air flow going through your air conditioning system including any HVAC plenums.
This, in turn, makes your air conditioner work much harder and longer than it should and could lead to parts or the entire system wearing out and breaking down much earlier than expected. This does nothing more than lead to costly repairs, and as everyone knows, comforts not cheap.
If you want to prolong the life, reliability and efficiency of your air conditioner as well as increase your households comfort level, you’ve got to regularly replace those air conditioner filters.
How To Change An Air Conditioner Filter
- First, find out where the filter is housed in your home and get the correct 1-inch pleated filter size simply by looking on the side of it.
- Buy a replacement pleated air filter in that same size.
- Keep a record or tracking system in place so that you can do proper maintenance on these kinds of filters. Some people actually just write down the date on the cardboard frame of the replacement air filter before installation.
- Remove the old 1-inch pleated air filter from the intake area. (Don’t remove it until you have a replacement air filter to put in it’s place as leaving this area open can lead to additional dust particles entering into the coils of your air conditioning system)
- Put the replacement filter in its place. Be sure to note that some of these filters have specific directions as to which side the air should flow thru to keep the frame stable. There’s another little tidbit as to the problems with the air filtrations industry. Why should it matter which side the air flows through? You certainly don’t have this problem with most of the best furnace filters nor the changing regimen.
- Dispose of the old filter properly.
And that’s it. That’s really all there is to it. I know, it’s not rocket science by any measure but it will sure go a long way in keeping your health and your air conditioning systems health in order.