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How Often To Change AC Air Filter And How To Replace It?

How often should i change my ac air filter? Remove and replace your home AC filter every month especially in the summer. When your AC unit is dirty it makes your AC work harder. Your AC filter may be filled with dust, pollen, animal dander, chemicals, food smells, and other home air pollutants. When your filter is blocked or clogged it makes your air conditioner work hard to pull air through the dirty filter. Therefore it uses more energy than necessary to cool your home. This makes your electricity bill higher and cuts the life span of your AC in the long run.

dirty ac air filter making you sickDirty ac air filter making you sick?

A clogged AC filter can also make you more prone to getting sick. All the nasty particles that are trapped on your AC filter are being rerouted through your home or room air vents when your AC is running. The air filter is the only place the AC unit gets its air from to run through the actual coils and cool the air. If you have not changed your AC air filter for a long time and you are sneezing and having unusual allergic symptoms, the dirty AC filter could be the cause.

Filtrete Micro Allergen Defense AC Air FilterGet a Filtrete Micro Allergen Defense AC Air Filter if you have allergies!

If you ignore your AC air filter, you are inadvertently making your electricity bills higher and possibly making yourself sick and anyone who lives in your home and breathing the air. It is almost like in a commercial airliner when the air is recycled over and over. It is not a pleasant thought breathing the air in an airplane with many people on board. The same happens with your home AC. If your filter is dirty and filled with black dust and dirt, this is not helping your health or your electricity bill. A dirty air filter can also cause your evaporator coil to freeze up. This could cause ice which would defrost and create a water spill. It may also lead to a liquid floodback to your compressor, which can quickly ruin the compressor.

How often should i change my ac air filterHow often should i change my ac air filter?

Where to get AC air filters?:
Getting and installing new AC air filters is very simple. First, find out the type of air filter that fits your vent. If you need an air filter for your compete home AC unit, there are several types. If you need an air filter for a window mounted AC unit, there are less choices but most all are available online for less than you may think. Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Home Depot are all great places to buy your AC filters.

How to install an AC air filter:
To remove and replace your home AC filter, first locate the vent that covers it. It may be in the ceiling or in the wall. Usually where you hear the most noise of the AC when its running is where it will be located. Open the metal vent door. You may need a flat screwdriver to turn a few screws to unlatch the filter vent. Once open, remove the old filter. Check the size dimensions printed on the side of the air filter. If you have a new filter on hand that is the correct size, install it with the little arrow printed on the side of the air filter pointing towards the AC or which way the air flows. Air flows in so make sure arrow points inward. Once the new clean air filter is installed, shut the vent and turn the screws to secure the vent to the wall. Now is a good time to clean the vent as there will most likely be lots of dust and dirt covering it. Use a wet rag or a large duster to remove the dust from the vent.

How do I know what size AC air filter to get?
If you have opened the vent and but do not have a new air filter…
Look on the side of your existing dirty air filter. The size and brand will be printed on the side. Write down what size of AC air filter you need. Go on Amazon and type in the size of air filter you need plus put the words AC filter after it. Example: 12 x 30 x 1 AC air filter. You will have the option to buy many different types. If you have pets or have allergies, buy the allergen filters that filter out most particles of pet dander and pet smells. If you are not allergic or don’t have symptoms of allergies, buy any type of AC air filter that best fits your budget. You will save money if you buy your filters in packs of 3 or more.

If you live in a very dusty location, you should replace your air filter every 20 to 30 days. If you have animals in your home and you have the AC on during summer, replace the AC air filters that are best for pet dander and pet smells.

In winter, change your furnace filter at least once every 4 to 6 weeks. in the summertime season for air conditioning, change the filter once a month.

How often to change air filter on window ac units?
Change the air filter on your AC window units every 30 days also. Amazon has many window ac air filters available. If you ignore the air filters on your AC window units, it causes the evaporation cooler to create condensation as it is not getting enough air through to warm it up. The water from the condensation will sit in the pan and will cause mold. If you ignore this it can turn to black mold and you will need to bleach it out and clean the AC window unit completely. Always replace the filter on time so you do not have this problem.

window air conditioner air filterThis is what a window air conditioner air filter looks like

window ac air filterNordic Pure window ac air filter fits all window ac units

Special Note For Larger Homes: You may live in a large home where your central air ties into the forced air heating system. In a home this is either in the basement or one of your closets. There will be a replaceable filter that filters all air going into the ducting. Basically one air filter for furnace and AC. They share the same fan and duct system.

If you have any questions about AC air filters including sizes, furnace filters, installation, vent removal, or how often to replace, please ask us a question below in the comments and we will answer you with a detailed answer.

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