How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter? (A Step-by-Step Guide)

If you have been asking yourself how to change the filter in your central air conditioner, you are not alone.

Many people find themselves unsure of how to go about changing a filter and unsure of the importance of doing it.

Fortunately, we have created a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of locating, removing, and replacing your central air conditioner filter.

Not only that, but we will also cover when to replace the filter and provide some tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Read on to learn more!

Short Answer

The process of changing a central air conditioner filter is relatively simple.

First, locate the air handler unit and find the filter.

Remove the old filter from the slot and discard it.

Then, measure the size of the filter and buy a new filter of the same size.

Slide the new filter into the slot and replace the cover.

Finally, turn on the air conditioner to ensure it is operating properly.

Why Changing Your Central Air Conditioner Filter is Important

Maintaining your central air conditioner is essential for keeping it running smoothly and efficiently, and one of the most important parts of that maintenance is changing the filter regularly.

A dirty or clogged filter can reduce the air flow to your system, leading to a decrease in efficiency, and can also increase the risk of your system overheating and breaking down.

Additionally, a clogged filter can cause poor indoor air quality, reducing the air quality in your home and making it difficult to breathe.

By changing the filter on a regular basis, you can help ensure that your central air conditioner is working properly, and that your homes air is free from pollutants and allergens.

Locate the Filter

Finding the filter in your central air conditioner is the first step in changing it.

In most cases, the filter can be found in the return air duct or in the blower compartment.

If youre having trouble locating the filter, consult your air conditioners manual or contact a qualified HVAC technician.

When locating the filter, its important to note the size and type of filter you have so you can purchase a replacement filter that is the same size and type.

Its also important to be aware of any safety measures you need to take when working with the filter and the air conditioner.

For example, some air conditioners may require you to shut off the power before you can access the filter.

Removing the Filter

Removing the filter from your central air conditioner is a relatively simple process that can be done in just a few steps.

The first step is to locate the filter, which is typically located in either the return air duct or the blower compartment of the unit.

You can identify the location by looking for the access panel, which is usually located on the side of the unit.

Once you have located the filter, you can remove it by either sliding it out or unscrewing the access panel.

If the filter is held in place by screws, you may need to use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws.

Make sure to keep track of the screws so that you can re-secure the access panel once youve replaced the filter.

Choosing the Right Replacement Filter

When it comes to changing the filter in your central air conditioner, it is essential to choose the correct replacement filter.

Not all filters are the same size or type, so it is important to check your existing filter and purchase the same size and type to ensure proper fit and performance.

The best way to determine the right type of filter is to consult the owners manual for your air conditioner, as this will provide specific information on the type of filter needed.

In most cases, the filter should be a pleated, electrostatic filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher.

It is also important to check the size of the filter before buying a new one.

Most filters are labeled with their size, either in inches or millimeters, so it is important to measure the existing filter and match it to the new one.

The size of the filter will also be listed in the owners manual.

If you are unsure of the size, it is best to err on the side of caution and purchase a filter that is a bit larger than the one youre replacing.

When choosing a replacement filter, it is important to check the quality as well.

Air filters come in a wide variety of materials, including fiberglass, cotton, paper, and synthetic.

It is important to choose a filter that is of good quality and is designed to trap dust, pollen, and other particles.

Higher quality filters, such as those with a MERV rating of 8 or higher, will be more effective at trapping airborne particles.

Installing the New Filter

Once you have located and removed the old filter, it is time to install the new one. Before installing the new filter, it is important to double-check that the size and type are the same as the one you have just removed. The size and type should be clearly marked on the filter itself, or you can refer to the owner’s manual for your air conditioner. It is also important to note that there are two types of filters used in central air conditioners: disposable filters and reusable filters. Disposable filters should be replaced at least every three months, while reusable filters should be cleaned and/or replaced when they become clogged.

When installing the new filter, be sure to insert it in the same direction as the old filter.

There should be arrows on the filter that indicate the direction of airflow.

Once the filter is in place, use the fasteners that came with the filter, or the ones you removed from the old filter, to secure it in place.

If you are using reusable filters, make sure to clean them regularly according to the manufacturers instructions.

Finally, be sure to close the access panel you opened to replace the filter.

Once the access panel is closed, your central air conditioner will be ready to go.

With regular maintenance, changing the filter in your central air conditioner will help to ensure that it runs efficiently and effectively.

When to Replace the Filter

When it comes to changing the filter in your central air conditioner, it is important to replace it regularly to ensure that your air conditioner is running as efficiently as possible.

The frequency with which you should be replacing the filter will depend on a few factors, such as the type of filter you are using and the environment where the system is located.

Generally speaking, fiberglass filters should be replaced every 30-90 days, while pleated filters should be replaced every 90-180 days.

If you live in an area with high levels of dust, pollen, or other airborne particles, then you may need to replace your filter more often.

Additionally, if you have pets or smoke in your home, then you may need to replace your filter more frequently.

Tips and Tricks for Easier Filter Replacement

When it comes to changing the filter in your central air conditioner, there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier.

First and foremost, its important to choose the right filter for your system.

Make sure that the filter is the same size and type as the one you are replacing.

If you dont know what size and type of filter you need, consult your air conditioners manual for more information.

In addition, its important to clean the filter holder before inserting the new filter.

This will help to ensure that the filter is seated correctly and to prevent any dust or debris from entering the air conditioner system.

Finally, its a good idea to purchase several filters so that you can have a few on hand for future use.

This way, you can quickly and easily replace the filter without having to wait for a new one to arrive.

By following these tips and tricks, changing the filter in your central air conditioner will be a much simpler and hassle-free process.

Plus, you can rest assured knowing that your air conditioner will be running as efficiently as possible.

Final Thoughts

By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can easily and quickly change the filter in your central air conditioner.

This is an important part of regular maintenance, and it can help keep your air conditioner running efficiently and smoothly.

Be sure to replace the filter regularly, choose the right type of filter, and follow the manufacturers instructions for best results.

Now that you know how to change your central air conditioner filter, its time to put your new knowledge into action!