Do you know if your air filters are working at their best?
Quality air filters are essential for removing bacteria and allergens. They ensure that the air you and your family are breathing is the best it can be.
Over time, the dirt they filter out will start building up. If you don’t know how to change them, this task can seem daunting.
Fear not! Read on for 5 methods for changing your air filters.
AC Disposable Air Filter
It’s important to work out which type of filter your AC system uses and it’s size requirements. This information is in your user manual.
Here is how you change air filters with disposable filters:
- First, for safety, make sure you switch off your AC system. You don’t want to hurt yourself or let unfiltered air loose in your home.
- You should already have your replacement filter at hand. Compare your new filter with the old one to make sure they match.
- Now remove the old filter from its location. Be careful that you don’t drop dust and debris around the filter location.
- Clean down the area. A wet cloth or damp paper towel will remove any dust and debris.
- Put in your new filter. Arrows on the side will tell you which way to slot it in. This makes sure it fits in the correct place and will perform at its best.
- Turn your AC system on and change the temperature by a few degrees while it powers up. Run the system for around 30 minutes to make sure it works.
Reusable AC Filters
If your AC unit uses a reusable filter, the steps are different. Follow this method to get the most out of your reusable filters:
- Turn off your system. This is an important safety step.
- Find and open the vent cover and take out the air filter. Avoid getting dust and debris on the area if you can.
- Clean the area, removing dust and debris. You can use a damp cloth or a handheld vacuum on a low setting.
- Now clean the filter. Go outside to avoid getting a mess in the house. Use the garden hose to rinse it.
- Fill a medium bowl with water and vinegar. Use the ratio of one part vinegar and one part water and soak the filter for 1-4 hours. This will remove allergens and bacteria.
- Take out of the solution. Allow the filter to completely dry, this could be overnight. Make sure you have allowed for this time without the use of your AC system.
- Refit the filter. Follow the arrows which will show the correct way to fit it back in the vent.
- Close the vent and turn the system back on. While it powers up, change the temperature a few degrees. Let it run to check it works.
Instead of an AC system, you might have an all in one HVAC system. The method for changing these filters is a little different:
- Find and take off the vent cover. Some HVAC systems have the filter located in the intake. This looks like a large vent grate in the ceiling, floor or wall. Other systems have the filter inside the unit.
- Check the direction your filter fits into the unit by looking at the arrows. Most air filters must go in the correct way to work. If they don’t, then they can fall apart as dust loads onto it.
- Remove the old filter and put it into a bag. This will prevent dirt and dust from getting on the floor and surrounding areas.
- Making sure the arrows are facing the correct way, put in the new filter.
- Fix any clips and screws that will hold the filter in place. Then secure the vent cover back into place.
HVAC systems that use vents and ducts will often have vent filters too. You can find them inside the grating of each air vent.
They are often paper filters and work by providing an extra filtration level. These filters also need changing and here is how:
- Find the vents that contain these filters.
- Take off the vent cover and remove the filter paper.
- While the filter is out, take the chance to clean your vent. Make sure to remove any dirt and gunk.
- Check the size of your vent and cut the new filter paper to size. Then secure the new filter back in place.
- Do this for all the vents with filters in them. Keep an eye on busy rooms like the lounge and kitchen. Change air filter more often in these areas.
Car Air Filter
It’s not only your home that benefits from air filtration. Cars have air filters that need changing too. Here’s how to do it:
- Buy your new filter. Check your owner manual to find out your filter size and type. If you forget, auto parts shops have a catalog you can use. Looking up the make, model and year of your car will show you the filter you need.
- Open the car hood to find your air filter box. It looks like a black plastic box with a big hose. Sometimes this is on top of the engine or to the side of it.
- Take the old filter out of the box. Open the clips that hold the top of the box in place. Then take out the dirty filter.
- Check over the old filter by looking into the folds and checking condition. If it’s worn and covered in dirt, it needs replacing.
- Fit the new filter. If you bought the right one, it should have a snug fit in the box. Put the top of the box back down and fasten the clips. It’s as easy as that!
Check to Ensure Quality Air Filters
So there you have it. Follow these 5 methods to ensure your home and car always have quality air filters in place.
To maintain efficiency it’s important to check and change your air filters on a regular basis. Check each month and change every 3 months for the best results. If you have pets or the filters are in high traffic areas, these might need more regular changing.
If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, check out our other home improvement blogs. We have great tips for getting the best out of your home and garden.