Updated: July 2023
At AirWorks Solutions, we’re all about saving our customers money. When it comes to heating and air conditioning, there are a few simple ways to accomplish that. Changing your system’s air filters regularly is one of the easiest ways to prevent costly service calls in the middle of summer.
Why should you change them?
Just like the filters in your car, filters in your heating and cooling system get dirty. The dirtier a filter gets, the less effective it is at doing its job of keeping pollution and debris out of your HVAC system. A dirty filter will slow down the air flow, which will make the furnace and AC work harder to heat and cool your home. This wasted energy leads to much higher energy bills and the strain on the system increases the potential for costly repairs.
Changing your filter (or upgrading to a higher MERV rated filter) is often a quick, inexpensive and easy way to improve air quality in your home, and clear up those pesky allergies. If your filters become so dirty they do not allow air through them and into the system, your condenser can ice up, your drain pan can over flow (the cause of many ceiling leaks) and your motors can burn up due to the strain. All these things are so easy to prevent with a little preventative maintenance!
When should you change them?
For the average home, we recommend changing your filters twice per year. (Now if you have animals, live in a very dusty area, have a large fire in the area, etc. you may need to change them more often.) You can remind yourself to change them at daylight saving’s time or when the seasons change from hot to cold and vice versa.
How do you change them?
Step 1. Buy a New Filter
Review your owner’s manual to determine the right filter to use. The size you’re currently using should be printed on the side of your existing air filter (make sure that the filter you are using is what the manufacturer recommends). You can usually find a replacement filter at a hardware store.
Step 2. Turn of the Unit
For safety reasons, be sure to turn off your HVAC system before attempting to change the filter. If you can’t figure out how to turn off the units themselves, you should turn off the breaker or call the professionals at AirWorks Solutions!
Step 3. Remove Old Filter
Filters can be located on the furnace or in an intake grill in your home. The filter should easily pull out of its slot in the furnace or grill. Remove filter and take note of how dirty your filter is and how long it has been since it has been changed. This will help you determine how often you should be changing your filter.
Step 4. Insert New Filter
Slide the new filter into place. There are often arrows on the new filter to indicate which side should be facing the outside air. If there are no arrows, you can insert it from either side.
***Keep in mind that you may want to seek the recommendations of an HVAC company if you have never changed your filters before. We have seen several homeowners that install filters with too high of a MERV rating (i.e. the filter is woven so tight enough air for your particular system cannot get through) and this has the same impact as a plugged/ dirty filter.
At least once a year, you should have a professional come in and do a thorough preventative maintenance. They can advise you on what your filter routine should be and tell you what type of filters will work best for your system.
AirWorks Solutions always checks both the Furnace and Air Conditioning when called in for a maintenance (most companies just do one or the other per season). A maintenance is more than just changing your filters, a good HVAC company should be cleaning the blower motor, inspecting ductwork, tightening electrical fittings (to help reduce electrical shorts and overheating of components), confirming that refrigeration levels and amp draws on the compressor are within standard range plus changing your filter and advising you as to the efficiency of your overall system.
Make sure to check back with us for more tips on how to ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently. If you have any questions, feel free to call or schedule an appointment.