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Our Guide to Replacing Your Air Filter

Do you know one of the best things to do for your air conditioning in Joliet, IL is also one of the easiest? We’re talking about replacing your air filter!

Your air conditioning unit relies on a filter to clean the air before it enters your home. But air filters aren’t only for improving indoor air quality; they play a pivotal role in keeping your system clean and functional.

Read on to learn how to change an HVAC air filter, and why regular replacements are such an important part of good AC maintenance.

How Often Should You Replace Your AC Filter? 

Air filters need to be replaced every 30 to 90 days, depending on the manufacturer and the air quality where you live. Generally speaking, fiberglass filters need to be replaced every 30 days, but high-end pleated air filters can be replaced every 60 to 90 days.

Some factors that affect how often you should change the air filter in your home are:

  • Whether you have asthma or allergies
  • Having pets who shed 
  • Having small children (changing filters more often can help improve air quality and reduce the risk of some respiratory illnesses) 

If you have multiple pets, are doing construction, or anyone in your household has allergies, then you might want to change your filter even sooner.

Choosing the Right Filter

The best way to determine what type of air filter your HVAC needs is by referring to the brand already in use. However, there are times you may want to switch brands and get a higher quality filter.

Air filter quality is graded by MERV ratings. The average U.S. single-family home will use an air filter with a MERV rating between 8 to 13.

Avoid buying a filter that is above 13. In most cases, this will actually be too strong for your system, and it can lead to performance issues with your HVAC. 

When you schedule your annual AC tune-up, the technician can also tell you what type of filter you should buy, how often you should change it, and how to clean it and install replacements.

How to Replace Your Air Filter in 5 Steps

  1. Locate the filter. It may be in a vent on the ceiling, such as in bathrooms, or in a panel on the wall. Some units also have labeled doors for their air filter.
  2. Open the filter door or remove the vent covering the air filter. Make sure your HVAC system is off while doing so.
  3. Check the filter’s size. Most filters are labeled with their exact dimensions, which makes finding the right replacement a breeze.
  4. Choose a new filter. Thicker options will typically provide better quality filtration and last longer than thinner, cheaper models. 
  5. Slide the old filter out of place, and slip the new one in. Close the door or replace the vent, and you’re good to go!

How to Make Your Air Filter Last Longer

Cleaning your air filter regularly can help it last longer, but you still shouldn’t go more than 90 days without a replacement. As for how to clean a home air filter, we suggest using the lightest setting on your vacuum. Do not take your filter out and submerge it in water, or spray it with any cleaning products. 

Johansen & Anderson Inc can help you with your AC issues. Call J&A today, sleep-tight tonight!

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