This summer, you don’t want to be without a working air conditioner. The weather is supposed to be extremely hot and sticky, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, so if you haven’t had your HVAC system inspected, now’s the time.
If you leave your unit unchecked, you could run into cooling issues. One of the main problems HVAC systems have during the cooling season is a clogged filter. HVAC filters stop dirt, debris and allergens from circulating in your home, but as these particles get trapped in the filter, it often becomes clogged. Subsequently, your air quality decreases, and your HVAC unit will have to work harder to cool your house.
But the good thing about dirty HVAC filters is that you can replace them yourself. You don’t necessarily have to consult HVAC contractors or companies to find out how to do it either.
Here’s the easiest way to replace your filter.
- All HVAC air filters have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating, and you will want to find out what kind of filter your system has. If the MERV rating is on the lower side, like under four, you may want to consider upgrading. Higher efficiency HVAC filters could even increase your unit’s ability to cool by 10%, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
- Once you determine what kind of air filter your system has — and if you need to upgrade — you can head to your local hardware store to find a replacement. The model number you need will usually be printed right on the edge of the filter.
- After bringing your unit home, be sure to turn off your air conditioning unit before you attempt to replace the filter. This is for your safety, and if you can’t locate the on and off switch, you could always locate the breaker in the electric box, and turn it off.
- Pull the old filter out and put it aside to throw out later on. You may also want to ask about recycling the filter, as some are made from fiber glass or polyester, as well as cardboard. Once you have pulled it out, you can insert the new one in the same direction. Then you will be ready to restart your air conditioning unit.
If you are still unsure about changing it yourself, or you don’t feel confident, you can just as easily contact an HVAC company to do it.
But whether you take on the responsibility yourself, or you outsource it to an experienced technician, don’t wait to get your filter changed. Your comfort this summer depends on it.