7 Quick Steps to Changing Your AC Filter

Even if you don’t know anything about maintaining your air conditioner, you at least know the basics: schedule an annual AC service and change the AC filters as often as necessary. That’s as good a start as any! Something as simple as keeping your AC filter clean will make a world of difference when it comes to how efficiently your air conditioner performs. And with the summers we get in Delaware County, PA, Hunterdon County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, and the surrounding areas, we need our air conditioners to be as efficient as possible! Let’s take a closer look at what changing your AC filters entails. 

How Often Should You Change the AC Filter?

If you’ve been scouring the internet trying to find the answer to this question, you’ve probably come across a lot of different responses. Some technicians will recommend changing filters every 30 days, while others will say that you can wait up to 90 days. Some will fall right in the middle at 60 days. Why is it so hard to find a straight answer? Because every household has different needs, which makes it impossible to find a one-size-fits-all solution. 

How often you change your AC filters really depends on the type of filters that you use, how large your household is, whether you have children or pets, the condition of your indoor air quality, and many other factors. Let’s start with which type of AC filters you use. 

Use this chart as a rough guideline for changing your AC filters. With time, you’ll get a feel for how often you’ll actually need to replace them. 

How Do I Change the AC Filter?

  1. Locate your filter. First things first, you have to know where to find your filter before you can replace it. This part may be tricky depending on what kind of AC system you own. The two most common places where the AC filter resides are either the air return vent or the air handler/furnace. You can check your user manual if you’re not sure or call your trusted Hutchinson tech for help. Once you know where to find the filter, the rest of the steps are a piece of cake. 
  2. Turn off the AC unit. Safety first! Make sure to turn off your air conditioner once you’re ready to replace the filter. This is important for two reasons. First, having the power on while working on appliances is not safe. Second, you don’t want the system to suck in dust and debris while you’re in the middle of changing the filter. 
  3. Pop open and remove the cover. The filter will be enclosed inside the AC unit. Remove the cover, which should come off pretty easily. 
  4. Take out the old filter. Just reach in and slip the filter out. If it looks clean, you may be able to gently dust it off and reuse it. If it’s full of dust and grime, then proceed with the replacement.  
  5. Find the airflow direction. Before you insert the new filter, you’ll need to align it in the same position as the old filter was before you took it out. How? By looking for the arrows that signify the airflow direction. Make sure the arrows point away from you and towards the AC unit. 
  6. Insert the new filter. Once your new filter is positioned correctly, just slip it into its spot. It should fit snugly inside. 
  7. Replace the cover and turn the power back on. Voilà! You replaced your own AC filter!

Remember, if you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact a Hutchinson expert! Our residential comfort consultants will be more than happy to act as your guide. If at any time you feel like your AC unit isn’t running properly, you can also contact our emergency air conditioning repair hotline and we’ll send someone to your home right away. Our air conditioning services span from Hunterdon County, NJ, to Ocean County, NJ, to Philadelphia, PA, and everywhere in between. Contact us today to learn more!