Ah, fall. The turn of the season brings colorful foliage, crisp air, and inevitably, allergies. But there's an easy way to combat autumn sniffling and sneezing inside your home — and it's a simple solution. Change your HVAC filters! These screens collect dust accumulated throughout the seasons. Over time, the filters become less efficient as they fill with more debris. This also decreases the quality of air in the home.
How Often Should I Change My HVAC Filter?
When it comes to the frequency of filter changing, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency of filter changes is driven by how much your heating and air conditioning system operates, which is also driven by your individual climate. Start by checking the system's filters at least once a month.
How Do I Know the Filter Needs to Be Replaced?
Hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to a clean "spare." When light is obscured by captured dust and dirt particles, the old filter should be changed. Keep a record for one year and then replace the filter on that basis. At a minimum, it is always a good idea to change filters at the start of the heating and cooling seasons and then in between according to your need.
How Do I Replace the Filter?
Replacing the filter is easier than you might think. We break it down into five easy steps:
- Turn the HVAC unit off.
- Remove the access panels to get to the filter.
- Remove the old filter.
- Insert the new filter. Make sure you pay attention to the arrows on the sides of the filter. These points in the direction that the air is flowing. If the ductwork bringing air into the furnace is on the right of the furnace, make sure the arrow on the filter is also pointing right.
- Close the access panels and turn the HVAC unit back on.
Talk to the Pros
Some internal HVAC systems have small panels that have a handle that lifts off where the filter sits. Other furnaces have the filter at the bottom of the unit and are accessible by removing the front access panels. Not all systems are the same, so it's important to contact an HVAC technician if you cannot access the old filter with ease. It's also important to pick the right replacement filter. A filter that is too small or large could leave gaps that allow dirt, dust, and debris to enter your HVAC system.
Your One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania technician is happy to help you swap out filters, choose the best replacement model, and perform any other seasonal tune-ups on your HVAC system!