How To Easily Change Your AC Filter At Home

An air conditioning filter is a device used in homes and offices to remove contaminants in AC units. For example, dust, sand, smoke, pollen, and grease.

For this, AC Air filters ensure better airflow and keep the debris out of your HVAC system.

While they ensure a better quality airflow, HVAC experts recommend people on changing central air conditioner filters every month.

So if you think your AC is clogged, this guide will enlighten you about air conditioning filter replacement:

Change AC Filter

4 Reasons Why You Need To Change Your AC Filter

Several reasons may require you to change your ac filter right away. Avoiding this can cause dirt and contaminants to get trapped in your ac filter, preventing it from functioning effectively.

Below is a list of the reasons you must consider changing your AC filter.

A Clogged Filter Creates Inefficiency and Higher Costs

The main job of an AC filter is to protect the air conditioning system from dust and debris accumulation.

Unfortunately, over time, the filter will get filled with dirt and debris and eventually make your air conditioning system extremely inefficient.

An inefficient AC system will require more power and force to run, ultimately increasing the electricity bills. In such cases, changing the air filter in central AC can be life-saving.

A Dirty Filter Pollutes the Air at Your Home

If you notice dirt and dust accumulation in your home, there is a high chance you might need an air conditioning filter change.

Dirty, polluted air at your home strongly indicates that your AC filter has been clogged by dust.

In addition, polluted air at your home can cause breathing problems, especially for people with breathing conditions such as Asthma.

A Clogged Filter Reduces the Life of Your HVAC System

Not changing a clogged filter can reduce the life of your HVAC system. Clogged air filters will require your AC system to use up more power and produce lesser air.

This will eventually harm the efficiency of your HVAC system. As a result, it won’t last you much longer, compelling you to look for a replacement.

A Cleaner Filter Leads to a Cleaner Home

When you change or clean your AC filters often, it prevents dust and dirt accumulation. This eventually leads to a cleaner home with fresher, breathable air all year round.

Moreover, your family will breathe cleaner air and stay safe from breathing problems. Also, if you live with asthma patients, cleaning filters becomes necessary.

Related Article How To Clean AC Filter

Signs It’s Time To Change Your Home Air Conditioners Filter

Most users get confused about when to change an AC air filter. Well, several signs indicate it’s time to replace your HVAC filter right away. Below are a few signs of an inefficient AC filter.

The Back of The AC Is Too Hot

Try touching the back of your AC unit gently. If you notice that it is scorching, these are signs that an AC air filter replacement is needed.

When AC filters get clogged, they suck up more power which eventually heats the AC unit.

The Air Is Not Cold Enough

Turn your AC on and wait for 10 minutes. Usually, AC units cool up the room within five to 10 minutes.

If you notice that your AC unit is taking more time to cool the room, it is a clear indication that you need to replace your AC filter.

The Electricity Bill Has Increased

Inefficient AC systems use more power than usual because dirt and debris hinder them from efficiently sucking the atmospheric air.

Likewise, a damaged HVAC unit will use up more power than expected. So if you notice that your energy bills are increasing significantly, it’s high time you need to replace your home air conditioner’s filter.

More Dust In Near The Air Vents

When an AC filter gets filled up with dirt, the surrounding areas of the unit, such as vents, start accumulating the extra dust from the environment.

Open your HVAC system and observe if the ducts are filled with dust. If that is the case, replace your AC filters as soon as possible.

Related Article How Should I Clean AC Vents

Suffering More Allergy Attacks

Suppose you or any family member is suffering from breathing conditions, and you notice that they have difficulty breathing. In that case, it may be possible that your AC filters are not filtering the dust effectively.

Make sure you change your AC filters right away to avoid any more health issues.

When to Replace AC Filter

How To Change Your Central AC Filter At Home

Changing your central AC filter is not that difficult. Several brands offer AC filters depending on the brand and type of AC filter you need.

People often wonder, “where is the filter on my outside ac unit” well, AC filters usually fit in the air return side of the HVAC unit.

With that said, here is a step-by-step guide on how to change an AC filter in your HVAC unit:

1. Remove The Old AC Filter

Turn your HVAC unit off and carefully remove the dirty AC filter. If you think you can’t do it right, get a professional to do the work for you.

2. Choose The Right Filter For Your Unit

You must understand that AC filters come in different shapes and sizes. Therefore, it is essential to choose a filter that is suitable for your particular AC unit.

Fiberglass AC filters are very affordable but not that efficient in trapping dirt and debris. High-efficiency AC filters can do the job right but are a little more pricey.

3. Fit The New AC Filter

Once you have chosen the right AC filter for your air conditioning unit, you can fit it the way it was removed. Then, gently slide the AC filter into the slot.

Make sure you avoid loose gaps, or the filter won’t work efficiently. Note the time of replacement so that you can change it again when it’s needed.

4. Maintain The New AC Filter For Maximum Benefits

There are several benefits of changing an AC filter but how often you change them plays a crucial role in retaining lower energy bills.

Replace your AC filter at least twice a year to ensure maximum efficiency. The number of times you change your AC filter also depends on the AC unit you have.

5. Choose The Correct Filter For DIY Replacement

Choosing the correct filter for your DIY AC filter replacement is crucial, or else you won’t get the results you are seeking.

Before changing your AC filter, it is vital to identify which one will be perfect for your AC unit. When you visit an HVAC shop, look for the panel size, measurement, and filtration grade.

You can also generate a model of your furnace and locate the AC filter. If you know the size of your AC filter, you can easily choose a different brand. Some of the most popular AC filter brands include FilterBUY, AirXDust, and Nordic Pure.

In addition, there are several different types of Ac filters in the market. For example, you will find a washable AC filter, pleated AC filters, and Fiberglass AC filters.

How to Change AC Filter

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How often should you change your AC filter?

Changing your AC filter depends on the type and size you use. Less efficient AC filters such as fiberglass filters may require more replacement. High-efficiency AC filters can last six to 12 months. Nevertheless, you must replace your AC filters every six months.

What happens if you don’t change your AC filter regularly?

When you don’t replace your AC filters, it may cause dust and dirt accumulation. This will eventually use up more power and increase your electricity bills. In addition, avoiding AC filter replacement can damage your HVAC unit over time.

Does cleaning the AC filter make it colder?

Cleaning the AC filter will allow space for ventilation. With an absence of contaminants, your AC unit will be able to cool your entire room quickly and efficiently.

Can you run your AC without a filter?

Air conditioning units can work without AC filters, but it is hazardous. Dust and dirt can clog your AC vents which will damage the entire unit.

In addition, you may have to change the whole HVAC unit, which can be very costly. Hence, it is recommended that you change your AC filters regularly.

How much do AC filters cost?

The cost of AC filters mainly depends on the brand and materials you choose. For example, fiberglass filters can cost less but are not that efficient. On average, an AC filter will cost you around $15 to $25.


Now that you know how to change an AC filter, choose the one you think will fit best on your HVAC unit. For example, using an air filter can be beneficial to reduce energy bills and increase airflow.

Once you choose the right filter, make sure you maintain it and replace it regularly. If you want to avoid replacement costs, buy a washable AC filter and clean it every 30 days to ensure maximum efficiency and good airflow all year round.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.