DIY Air Filter Change

How To Replace Your Air Filter DIY

Your air filter is an important part of your home’s HVAC system. As air flows through your ductwork and into your home, your filter catches dirt and other particles and traps them, preventing them from entering your home. This helps keep your system efficient and keeps you breathing clean air.

Eventually, however, your old air filter will need replacing. Once it becomes clogged with dirt and other debris, it will become significantly less efficient. The good news is you can change your air filter yourself. Today, we’re going to walk you through the entire process of changing your home’s air filter. 

In addition to regularly checking and changing your air filter, it’s also important to service your HVAC bi-annually. For more information about air filters, or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance, call the heating and air conditioning service professionals at Lyons Air & Heat in Rockwall, Texas today.

Why Do Air Filters Need to Be Changed?

Simply put, a dirty air filter isn’t going to do the job as well as a clean, new air filter can. Let’s break down exactly why:

The air entering your HVAC ductwork is filled with dust, debris, and other types of airborne contaminants and particles that you don’t want in your house. The air flow in your system is directed through your air filter before it passes out into your house, meaning your air filter catches all these dirty particulates before they can escape into the air you breathe. 

Once your old air filter becomes saturated with dirt, it’s time to install a new one. For one-inch air filters, you should check them about once a month to ensure they haven’t become too full of dust and debris. For four-inch air filters, you should check once every three months. You can check the owner’s manual for your particular model of HVAC if you’re unsure what kind of filter you have or how often you should be checking it. You can also talk to your local Plano HVAC technician when they come out to provide regular AC and heating maintenance

Depending on where you live or what time of year it is, you may not actually need to replace your filter every month or three months, but you do need to check it regularly. There are two reasons for this:

Indoor Air Quality

First, and most importantly, your indoor air quality is going to decline significantly if your air filter gets too dirty. If the filter is already full of debris, it won’t be able to catch and filter out as much as it could when it was new. This means more debris will escape into the air you breathe.

This could spell trouble for anyone in your home or office who suffers from allergies or asthma, as a high amount of dirt and dust in the air will dramatically increase these symptoms.

HVAC System Efficiency

By keeping your air filter clean, you’re giving your HVAC unit the best chance to work efficiently. Like we mentioned before, all the air that flows into your home has to be pushed through your air filter–if your filter is already saturated, the engine for the fan that pushes air through your ductwork is going to be working twice as hard to generate the same amount of air flow. As a result, you could feel a decrease in your home or office’s comfort, along with an increase in utility bills as your HVAC uses more fuel and energy to accomplish the same task.

Additionally, this increase in effort needed also places strain on a variety of HVAC components–your fan’s engine, the condensate pump, etc.–which could lead to costly HVAC repairs and replacements in the near future.

How To Replace Your Air Filter DIY

How To Change Your Air Filter

Now that you know why you need to replace your air filter regularly, let’s get down to how you actually do it. Once you know how to do it, it’s pretty simple–however, if you do have any questions, asking your local Royse City HVAC technician to help you out is always a good idea.

Additionally, a change in air filter will always be provided with your bi-annual HVAC service. 

There are two main types of air filter: central AC filters that are located in return ducts, and reusable air filters that might be located in a window unit. We’re going to focus on central AC filters.

Step 1 

The first step to installing a new air filter is finding out what kind of filter you need and obtaining a new filter in that size. Your Terrell, TX HVAC technician can certainly tell you what size filter you need, but the size will also be listed on your old filter. You can pull the old filter out to check or check your owner’s manual.

Step 2 

Once you have your new air filter, you should shut off your furnace or air conditioner at the thermostat. It’s important that you not run your HVAC without a filter in place.

Step 3

Next, you’re going to locate the filter access panel. It’s possible that you walk past this panel every day and simply don’t know it; it might be located at the top of a stairwell, in the floor, or in the ceiling. Your air filter housing might also be located near the air handler or furnace, which could be in your garage, basement, or a small closet.

This will likely be the most tool-heavy step to install a new air filter, as there are likely a couple of screws that hold the access panel in place. Once you locate and remove the access panel, you’ll be looking at the filter box for your old filter.

Step 4

Now it’s time to really get down to business. Next, you’re going to remove your old filter. This is pretty easy; for most filters, you can simply pull them out, but for some there might be clips holding the air filter in place. However, these should be simple to release, and then you’ll be ready to get your new filter installed.

Step 5

Before installing, however, you’ll need to give your air filter housing a good, thorough cleaning. 

Though your air filter catches most of the dust that floats through your HVAC, debris falls occasionally into the bottom of the air filter box. Give the air filter box a quick vacuum or wipe-down before you install the new air filter.

Step 6

Now, it’s time to replace the air filter. Use the arrows on the new filter to slide it into the housing facing the correct way. Make sure the new filter is secure. If there were clips holding your old air filter in place, make sure you reattach them to the new air filter. Close up your housing panel and make sure the grille covering the air filter housing is secure.

Step 7

Now, all you have to do is turn your thermostat back on, and you’re done! 

How To Replace Your Air Filter DIY

When You Need Professional HVAC Services, Give Lyons Air & Heat a Call!

Checking and changing your air filter is a great way to keep your AC system healthy. In addition to a regularly changed air filter, your system also needs service bi-annually. If you’re concerned about your HVAC’s health, or you want to stop worrying about when and how to service your AC, consider joining our Cool Club. 

With our Cool Club maintenance plan, we can give you priority on service, let you know when it’s time for your bi-annual tune-ups, and also get you discounts on parts. With each tune-up, our techs will also check your air filter and change it if it’s time! 

If you’re located in Rockwall, Fate, Rowlett, Caddo Mills, Murphy, or any of the surrounding service areas and want to get started on keeping your HVAC in tip-top shape, give Lyons Air & Heat a call at 214-305-2289 today! You can also schedule an appointment here.  


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