The air filter is one of the most important parts of the HVAC system, which makes it one of the most important parts of the home. That is because the air filter is responsible for keeping the air in the home clean and pure and free of pollutants and allergens. However the air filter is only effective if it is clean because as it gets dirtier and more clogged, it becomes much less useful.

That means keeping the air filter clean is integral to maintaining the purity of the air in the home. The way to keep the filter clean is to change it when it gets dirty; performing any kind of home maintenance may seem intimidating to some people but changing the air filter is one of the easiest tasks that a homeowner can do.

How to Change The Air Filter

The air filter is very easy to change because there is no need for any special tools or particular set of skills. You just need to perform the following steps in order to replace a dirty air filter:

  1. Locate the main air conditioning vent – It will be located in one of the large rooms on the ground floor. It is meant to be accessible so it won’t be hard to find.
  2. Turn off the HVAC system – It won’t have to be off for long since changing the air filter is a quick process.
  3. Open the cover of the vent – There should just be a latch holding it in place so it is unlikely that you will need any tools. However, some may require the use of a screwdriver.
  4. Remove the air filter – The air filter is meant to be easy to remove so you should not have any trouble taking it out of the vent.
  5. Discard the old filter and put in the new one – When you are putting in the new filter, make sure that it is facing the right way. There should be an arrow on it pointing in the direction of the airflow that indicates how it should be placed in the vent.
  6. Turn on the HVAC system.

The whole process should only take about five minutes even if you have never done it before. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to change the air filter even faster. 

When To Change the Air Filter

Now that you know how to change your air filter, the other big question is when to change your air filter. The answer to that question depends on the MERV rating of the air filter. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and ranges from one to sixteen, the higher the number, the more efficient the air filter, which means that it is more effective at trapping particles. 

Air filters with a low or mid range MERV rating in the eight to eleven range need to be changed every two to three months. Higher rated filters in the twelve to fourteen range should be changed every four to six weeks. The reason is that the more efficient filters trap more particles, so they get dirtier far more quickly, which is why they need to be changed more often.

Change Your Air Filter When Gets Dirty

When your air filter gets dirty, it does not just have a negative impact on the air quality in the home, it can also affect your energy bill as well. That is because pushing air through a dirty, clogged filter causes the HVAC unit to work harder and use more energy. That could lead to a higher energy bill or worse; that is because the unit could become damaged because of the extra effort, which could necessitate some costly repairs. When you consider how inexpensive air filters are and how easy they are to change, there is no reason why you should ever have a dirty, energy inefficient air filter in your home.