During the fall or spring, when temperatures start to drop or increase, it’s a good time to attend to HVAC maintenance. This will help to make sure that your HVAC system is in prime condition, ready to work hard during the hot summer or cold winter months. And regularly changing the filter is a very important part of HVAC maintenance.
When To Change Your HVAC Filter
Many people believe that it’s good enough to change an HVAC filter every twelve months. If you are one of those people, you could be drastically shortening the lifespan of your HVAC system. The truth is that it’s best to replace the filter every month.
A compromise that could work is to replace the filter every 3 months but to check it every month to see if it’s getting too dirty. Simply remove it and hold it up to any bright light. If you are unable to see the light clearly, the filter needs to be replaced. Otherwise, it should be good for another month.
How To Know What Type of Filter Your HVAC Unit Needs
Before you do anything else, first get hold of your HVAC owner’s manual and check what type of filter you have to buy. There are many different types available but the manual will mention the shape and size that’s right for your specific HVAC unit. If it’s still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, make sure you follow their instruction.
If you can’t find the owner’s manual, just take the existing filter with you to the store when you’re ready to buy a new one.
Where To Find The HVAC Filter
Finding where on the HVAC system the filter is located should not be too difficult. Here are a couple of tips that should help:
Start by turning off the HVAC unit’s power supply. You don’t want it switching on while you’re still busy taking off the panels or removing the filter. To locate the filter, just have a closer look at the unit. Some HVAC systems come with a little panel with a handle that can be lifted off to reveal the filter. Others have a filter underneath the unit that can be accessed by taking off the front panels.
Once you’ve located the unit’s filter, the next step is to check the specifications on the side. If the filter doesn’t look as if it has been cut and it fits perfectly, then that’s the exact size you should be buying. Please note that buying a filter that’s either too big or too small can mean that there will be a gap that lets through dust, dirt, and debris. This can potentially cause the whole HVAC system to burn out – and that’s going to cost you much more than the price of a filter. If you have any doubts at this stage, rather talk to an HVAC specialist to make 100% sure you don’t waste your money or create an even bigger problem for yourself in the long run by fitting the wrong kind of filter.
Replacing The HVAC Filter
Once you’ve purchased the right kind of filter, it’s fairly easy to replace the existing one. The steps involved are quite simple but if you struggle, rather call an HVAC expert. Foolhardiness doesn’t prove that you are a DIY hero.
1. Switch off the HVAC unit.
2. To get to the filter you will have to remove the unit’s access panels.
3. Carefully remove the existing filter.
4. Insert the new filter you’ve purchased.
5. Close the access panels again.
6. Now switch on the HVAC system and enjoy three months of fresh, clean hot or cold air!
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