The main purpose of having an air filter in place is to keep your air conditioner free from debris and dust. The longer your air conditioner will stay free from these impurities, the longer it will serve you. While it is our hope that our air conditioners serve as long as possible, thorough maintenance practices are necessary in our quest. One of those maintenance practices entails replacing old and worn out air filters with new ones.
So, which way do you put in an air filter? We receive this question most often. Here, we look at how to go about the task using the most understandable terms to make your work easier.
Step 1: Turn Off the Power
Many people ignore this step not knowing that it is very important. First, you have your safety to think about. You do not want to touch live wires/voltage, as the repercussions will be very serious. Then, there is a risk of further damaging your air conditioner if you open it while it is still running. There is always a chance that the air conditioner will suck in the dust trapped by the filters thereby leading to further damages. In that case, be careful to switch off power at the unit itself and at the circuit breaker just to be sure that you have cut off the power to the unit completely.
Step 2: Remove The Old Filter
More often than not, you will be replacing an old and worn out filter with a new and efficient one. After turning off the power to your unit, the next step is to remove the old filter. Achieving this is easy, as you only need the filter out of the slot that holds it in place.
Step 3: Check the Condition of Your air Conditioner
Once you have removed the old filter successfully, take your time to check its condition. Can you any sign of dust or clogged dirt? You can conduct a quick test by holding the filter against light. If you cannot see much light coming through, chances are that the filter is damaged and needs to be replaced immediately. This is regardless of whether the filter has served you for the time stipulated by its manufacturer or otherwise. Remember, many physical factors play a role determining how fast your filter gets clogged.
Step 4: Clean the Filter or Replace it
This step will depend majorly on whether you are using a disposable or reusable filter. You can tell a disposable filter easily because it has a cardboard frame or a fiber mesh surface. On the other hand, a reusable filter has sturdy and strong material for its making. If you have a reusable filter, take your time to read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding its washing to avoid possible complications. Even though some require some complex cleaning service, some will only need simple vacuuming and you are good to go.
Step 5: Insert the New or Cleaned Filter
This is where the actual installation begins. On your air filter, carefully look at the direction that air should flow inside it. Mostly, these directions are engraved on the filters. Carefully return the air filter into its housing while at the same time making sure that the arrow points away from the return and towards the air handler. Connect your air conditioner to a source of power and ascertain that it is working properly. If it is, you will be ready to go. See, that was easy, right?
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Factors to Consider When Changing the Air Filter of Your Air Conditioner
Even though the process of changing the air filter of your air conditioner might appear easy on paper, the process has some tricky bits. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Determining the Right Air Filters
Even though conducting maintenance services to your air conditioner is beneficial, nobody looks forward to them. In that case, it is important to find the right air filters to your air conditioner to avoid having regular repair and maintenance cases. Ask yourself, do you go for disposable or reusable air filters? The truth is they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider one that suits your needs best.
2. The Depth of the Damage Caused
Sometimes the damage caused by clogging of dirt or deposition of dust onto the surfaces of your air filter is manageable while at times it is not. In that case, you have to be wise enough to know when your air conditioner needs to have a change in its filter and when a simple clean will do.
3. Know the Position of the Air Filter
Given that many brands and models of air conditioners are available, it follows that the position of the air filter is likely to vary. Take your time to figure out the location of the air filter in your air conditioner to avoid time wastage and causing further damages. In most units, the air filter is located in the return air duct.
While it is true that purchasing a new air filter might be costly and challenging, sometimes the adventure is inevitable. It is important to note that returning the old air filters in place after a simple clean will only aggravate the situation. It is better to replace the filters with new ones, if need be, to avoid incurring further costs.
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
Energy Star recommends that you should check, clean or change (if necessary) the condition of your air filter monthly, especially during the peak season. Doing this is a sure way of keeping the HVAC air filters service guy away from your home thereby saving you some cash in the long run. Use the procedure provided in this article to change the filter if need be.
Installing an air filter to an air conditioner is one of the easiest DIY practices. However, you need to be very careful when choosing the best air filter for your machine. On the other hand, you can clean the one already in place and re use it depending on the depth of the damage caused by dust and dirt. The main function of an air filter is to keep these impurities away and maintain the well-being of your air conditioner.
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