Replacing the Air Filter

There are many reasons for replacing the air filter in your heating and cooling system. Your energy efficiency can be affected by a dirty filter by causing the air flow to be impeded, which, in turn makes your heating and cooling system have to work harder to do it's job. Your air quality can be compromised, causing itchy watery eyes, sinus problems and scratchy throat and finally, the life of your heating and cooling system can be affected greatly should you neglect this important piece of maintenance of your unit.

You may not have realized all that your air filter does to keep your home cool, or warm, your cost of operating the system low, and the air in your home smelling sweet. For a minimum investment, this little home improvement is really quite the work horse. Yet, like taking down Halloween decorations, so many homeowners put off this easy task, forgetting how important it is. For most people, they just don't realize when it's time to change a filter. Many people believe it's enough to change the air filter when the seasons change, or when switching from heat to air conditioning.

Most experts disagree with that idea. Many people in the heating and cooling industry believe that the air filter in your system should be replaced every three months as a minimum. In areas where the climate can be dry and the air a bit dusty, some experts think six weeks is an optimum shelf life for your replacement. Whenever you choose to change the air filter in your heating and cooling unit, know that it's an easy enough task to be accomplished in just a few minutes and the only expert you need is you.

Tips for Easy Replacing

The first thing you'll need to do when you're replacing your air filter is to choose the type of filter you need. Refer to the filter that's currently in your unit to find the size. Once you've discovered the filter size, you'll need to go to your local home improvement or big box store to find the replacement filter. You can choose from a wide array of options and prices. Of course, the less expensive the air filter, the less efficient the performance.

Most individuals opt for a middle of the road model, though if you have allergies or a condition which affects your breathing ability, you may want to go with one of the higher end electro static filters which claim to remove more dust particles from the air in your home. You can also choose the reusable, washable filters, which you will remove on a regular basis and thoroughly wash and dry before putting it back in your heating and cooling unit. Once you've selected your filter, you're ready to begin.

First, turn off your heating and cooling unit to prevent shock. Next, locate the filter. It's typically located behind the return grill on the side or front of the unit. Newer models will have the filter case clearly marked, but older models may not. You'll need to look. Once you've located the filter, remove the old one by pulling it out through the slot. Some units will have a shoot which pops open. If you're using a reusable filter, take it out to wash it.

Now reinstall your filter by sliding the replacement filter into place. Make sure the area is secure and turn your unit back on. You just succeeded in replacing the air filter! It was just that easy. Now you have a few months to rest up before doing it again.

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