How to Change an HVAC Air Filter

The HVAC system of your home is the heart of the property. It keeps your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and helps air flow freely every month in between. However, a poorly maintained HVAC system can lead to serious health problems or exacerbate medical conditions such as asthma, COPD, and sleep apnea. 

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and an ever-growing to-do list. One thing that should be on your to-do list every year is changing and/or cleaning your HVAC air filter. It can do wonders for the air in the home and your overall health, especially if you suffer from asthma, allergies, or other medical conditions that impact your lungs. 

The HVAC service near me from Swaim Electric explains why it’s important to change the air filter in your HVAC unit and how to do so in today’s post.






Why You Should Change the HVAC Air Filter

The experienced and trusted team at Swaim Electric wants you to understand how important it is to your health to change the HVAC air filter at least annually. You can also clean the air filter in your HVAC unit if you have such a type of air filter installed in the unit. Cleaning it or replacing it annually is good for your health.

A filter that is left unchanged or uncleaned for a lengthy period can wreak havoc on your HVAC unit, preventing air from flowing freely. A bad filter can also become clogged with dust and dirt, which can cause parts of the HVAC unit to fail well before they should. This will lead to costly repairs and possible replacement of the unit before you had planned on doing so.

When an air filter is replaced annually, air will be able to flow freely throughout the unit and your home. The air will also be clean, meaning you will be breathing clean air instead of air filled with dirt and dust, which can be harmful to your lungs.



Changing the Air Filter

HVAC service near me from Swaim Electric helps ensure that your unit is in good working condition when you schedule one of our trusted technicians for service. At the same time, you can change the air filter in your HVAC unit on your own, if you choose to do so. If you decide that this is a task you would like to undertake, be sure to follow the instructions outlined here to make it easier to change the air filter.


Finding the Air Filter

The most difficult part of changing an air filter can be finding it. The reason for this is that air filters aren’t located in the same place in every HVAC unit. The locations where an air filter can be found include:

  • The return air duct
  • Near or in the blower system for the furnace

If, after examining the HVAC unit you cannot find the air filter, it’s best to contact your local HVAC service near me team to handle the project for you.


Choose the Right Replacement Filter

You shouldn’t just use any filter to replace the current one. You need to use the right filter for your HVAC unit. You can find the size of the filter printed on the side of the one you remove from the unit. You also want to make sure that the filter you use does not cause the unit to suffer a decline in performance. If you would like to use a HEPA filter with a MERV rating of 10, be sure to speak with an HVAC service near me technician from Swaim Electric about this type of filter.


Replacing the Air Filter

When the time comes to replace the air filter, you will want to follow these instructions:

  1. Turn off the power to the unit. No matter where the filter is located, you want the power turned off so you don’t risk touching any live wires. You also don’t want dust and dirt particles getting into the system if they fly off the filter when it is being removed.

  2. Remove the filter in the HVAC unit.

  3. Check the condition of the air filter. Hold the filter up to a light. If you cannot see much light coming through the filter, it means it is covered in dirt and dust. It should either be replaced or cleaned. You can only clean an air filter if it a reusable filter.

  4. Dispose of the filter. Put the used air filter into a plastic trash bag before carrying it through your home. You should then place it in an outdoor trash receptacle instead of your kitchen trashcan.

  5. Insert a new air filter. Now it’s time to insert a new air filter. Check the filter for arrows that show how the air should flow through the filter. Be sure to insert the new filter into the HVAC unit based on the direction of the arrows on the filter.

  6. Turn the power back on. Don’t forget to turn the power back on for the unit so you can use it.



Reasons to Change an Air Filter Every Three Months

The majority of homes can get away with changing the air filter once every three months. There are some systems available with specialized filters that can last and function longer. However, there are circumstances that could lead you to change the air filter more often and these include:

  • You smoke inside the home
  • You have a large family
  • You have pets
  • The unit runs anywhere from six months to year-round
  • There is a fireplace in the home that you use
  • Your home is located in a windy area
  • Your home is located on a ranch or a farm
  • Construction is happening close to your home
  • There is a sizable garden on your property
  • You or a family member suffers from asthma or allergies



When to Replace an Air Filter Immediately

There are times when the air filter doesn’t have to be replaced for another couple of months. However, there are some important times when an air filter should be replaced immediately upon inspecting it. These circumstances include the following:

  • You found microbial growth on the air filter
  • The filter is damp to the touch
  • The filter is damaged



Regular Maintenance Works Wonders

Regular maintenance from an experienced HVAC service near me via a maintenance contract can work wonders for your HVAC unit. When you have an HVAC tech perform regular maintenance on your unit it helps find issues before they become costly problems, make repairs easier to undergo, and keeps the unit in the best working condition possible. An HVAC unit that works properly will provide you with comfortable living arrangements and affordable utility bills.



If you do not know where the air filter is located on your HVAC unit, or if you have discovered issues with the unit when replacing an air filter, it is time to schedule service with a trusted HVAC service near me technician. Call the experienced team at Swaim Electric in Climax, NC to schedule maintenance for your HVAC system today.





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