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Blairco HVAC Filters

How Often You Should Change Air Conditioner Filters

How often you change your air filter will vary based on the type of filter you have. For example, a basic, 1-inch air filter will most likely need to be replaced more often than a larger 4-inch filter. You should follow the filter manufacturer’s recommendations, but a good rule of thumb is to inspect your AC filter at least once every 2-3 months. Additional factors that can affect the timeline of how often you change your filter regularly include:

  • Thermostat settings: If you tend to enjoy cooler settings in summer, your system will run more often, which may decrease time between filter changes. If you set the thermostat back to save energy, you’ll run the system less and potentially increase time between filter changes.
  • Poor system installation: An undersized system will run longer and filters will likely collect more pollutants. Poorly installed ductwork may invite more airborne pollutants into the system as well. Both of these examples can potentially reduce the time between filter changes.
  • Pets: If you are a pet owner, the number, size and type of animals in your home might affect timing between filter changes. Larger animals or longer-haired animals that shed more will shorten the time between filter changes.
  • Quality/age of home: Older homes or poorly sealed homes tend to draw more dirt, dust and other airborne pollutants from outside. Especially in areas with air pollution issues, you will likely need to inspect and replace your filter more often.

As filter inspections become a part of your routine, you might want to purchase replacement filters in advance and have a clean filter available in case an inspection indicates it’s time for a change.

Replacing a Furnace Filter – How to Change a Furnace Filter?

How to change your filter
Replacing a furnace filter, in most cases, should be a relatively easy task for many homeowners. Before you get started, be sure to have a compatible replacement filter available. Here is a step-by-step description:

  1. Locate the filter. Your furnace filter is typically found in the blower compartment of the furnace or housed in the ductwork leading into the furnace.
  2. Turn off your system. You can either turn it off using the thermostat’s settings, or using the power cut-off switch typically located on the exterior of the furnace cabinet (it looks like a light switch).
  3. Remove the blower cabinet door or duct-mounted access panel to access the current filter.
  4. Before removing the filter, take note of the airflow direction arrows, typically printed on the side of the filter. Air should flow from the ductwork into the furnace.
  5. Carefully remove the filter – depending how long it’s been since last replacement it may have quite a bit of dust and dirt buildup.
  6. Install the new filter ensuring that the airflow arrows are pointing in the same direction as the filter you are replacing.
  7. Replace the blower cabinet cover or access panel.
  8. Restore power to the system.

Once your system is running, be sure it seems to be operating normally, and that it is heating or cooling your home as it should.