How To Change An HVAC Air Filter

HVAC air filters need to be changed regularly. If your AC is not pumping out a good amount of air don’t panic it might just need an air filter change.

HVAC filters have an important purpose, and failing to change and clean them regularly will result with poor performance with most systems.

Why Changing The Air Filter So Important

HVAC filters keep the air clean and filters out dust, debris and pollutants from the air so they don’t enter your home.

A clogged or dirty HVAC filter makes the system work harder which will most likely see an increased energy bill and poorer performance of airflow within the premises.

Types Of HVAC Filters

There are several different types of HVAC air filters. Before you change your HVAC filter you need to understand what type your system uses.

  1. Mechanical Filters
  2. Pleated Filters
  3. Electronic

Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters come in two types, Charcoal, and fiberglass. Fibreglass comes in two sizes one inch thick and two inch thick. Charcoal is slightly more expensive but catches more dust and particles.

Mechanical filters need to be changed roughly once a month.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters require a lot less maintenance than other filters. The performance is outstanding filtering out dust and pollutants from the air by about 40-50%.

Pleated filters only need to be replaced about one time per year.

Electronic Filters

Electronic filters are the highest performing catching more dust and pollutants than any other filter. They are more expensive than other types of filters.

Electronic filters need to be changed on average four times a year.

How To Change Your HVAC Filter

We recommend before you start to change your filter, you find the HVAC manual. You will need to have already bought the new filter and identified that the new filter is the correct size for your HVAC system.

Step 1. Turn off your HVAC system.

Turn off your HVAC system and disconnect the electricity that runs to the unit.

Step 2. Locate the filter.

Use your HVAC manual to find where the filter is located within the device. Filters are only located in a few different positions across all devices so finding it will not be hard. 

Your AC filter could be under the grill of the return air register on the wall. This is common for HVAC systems that are in the air-handler cabinet.

For up-flow or horizontal systems check the removable door near the furnace wall and air distribution box.

Step 3. Remove the screws.

To access the filter you will need to remove all the screws holding the lid on top of the filter. Put the screws somewhere you will not loose them.

If you have a cover, clean the cover with a slightly damp cloth. Removing all the dust and debris, if you have the time wash the cover and let it dry.

Step 4. Remove the filter.

Filters can be extremely dirty, make sure you bring a big rubbish bag to put the filter in. This way when you take it outside it doesn’t leave a big mess in your home.

If your filter is washable take it outside to wash clean.

Step 5. Check which way the arrows are pointing.

Your new filter will have arrows on it that all point in the same direction. The arrows indicate that the edge outlined should go in first. Failure to follow this will result in the filter being placed backward.

Once the new filter is correctly in its slot, put the lid on, then screw it back in, then turn the electricity back on and start your HVAC system.