How to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter | Columbia Heating & Cooling PDX
Written by Columbia HVAC

How to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

With the end of summer upon us, now is a good time to replace the filter in your air conditioner. Your A/C has been working hard during the hot summer months and is likely in need of a replacement filter before fall. Homeowners should change these filters every three months and potentially more frequently if you have pets or your home is exceptionally dusty.

Replacing your air conditioning filter is a relatively simple and easy process. Follow these basic steps to change your filter and help ensure your air conditioner is running at peak performance:

1. Locate the air filter. Typically, the filter is located near the thermostat in a return vent. However, some models house the filter close to the actual A/C unit.

2. Unloosen the screws or fasteners of the vent and gently remove the cover. Set aside. The filter should be located directly behind the cover.

3. Reach in and pull out the filter.

4. Set the used filter aside and inspect its condition. If the filter is visibly dirty, it is ready to be discarded. If it’s dingy or grey, it is likely past usable condition. If the filter looks white, it can likely still be used.

5. If the filter needs to be replaced, grab a new one.

6. Identify the arrow pattern on the edge of the filter. Arrows should never point out or be facing you. If the arrows point outward, the airflow will be restricted.

7. Position the arrows so that they are facing away from you or toward the wall.

8. Place the filter into the duct opening, gently easing the bottom of the filter in first.

9. Double check to ensure the arrows are pointing toward the duct. Give the filter a gentle pat and make sure it fits snugly into the vent opening.

10. Put the cover back on and tighten the fasteners.

As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to take care of some basic HVAC maintenance on your own. However, other maintenance – including your annual tune-up – should be handled by one of our NATE certified HVAC technicians. An improperly maintained air conditioner or furnace can lose up to 5% efficiency and become a hazard in your home. Investing in preemptive maintenance will save you time and money on repair/replacement costs down the line.

Ready to schedule your annual tune up? We’re currently offering air conditioner, furnace and fireplace tune-up specials! Combine any two tune-ups for an additional $10 savings! Contact us to schedule your service today.