How To Change Window AC Filter (Easy DIY Guide)

Your window AC’s filter is a crucial component that helps trap dirt, dust, and allergens. An air filter’s primary purpose is to keep your interior air clean and pollutant-free. However, the average air filter only lasts between one and three months.

That’s why it’s essential to learn more about window air conditioner filter replacement. This guide can help you learn more about keeping your window AC’s filter clean, helping you enjoy the highest-quality interior air.

Why Is Changing Your Window AC Filter Necessary?

A window AC filter change is vital, as a clogged filter can result in higher utility bills and decreased interior air quality.

In addition, a clean window AC filter can help you enjoy a cleaner home. After all, air filters capture allergens, dust, and dirt and keep them from cycling out into your home.

Changing your AC filter is also an excellent way to extend the lifespan of your AC unit, as a clean filter makes it easier for your unit to pull in air and push clean air out. Overall, changing your window unit’s air filter is a simple maintenance task that has a variety of benefits.

Why Changing Window AC Filter is Important

Signs Your Window Air Conditioner Filter Needs To Be Changed

If you can’t remember the last time you changed or cleaned your window air conditioner’s AC filter, it’s likely overdue for a change. Still, there are a few signs that can indicate that your filter needs an immediate change.

  • The Air Isn’t Getting Cold Enough
    Are you waiting several hours for your interior air to reach the desired or set temperature? If so, your window AC unit’s air filter may be dirty.
  • Your Electricity Bill Has Increased
    One of the most significant signs that your AC air filter is clogged and dirty is increased monthly electricity bills. When your unit needs to work harder to pull in air, it can cause the air conditioner consume more energy by working harder.
  • Dust Is Accumulating In The Air Vents
    If the vents at the front of your window AC are constantly forming strings of dust or dirt, there’s a good chance that its internal air filter is full of debris.
  • You Are Suffering From Allergy Attacks
    An increase in sneezing, coughing, or asthma symptoms may also indicate a dirty AC air filter. Remember, your window air conditioner pulls in and blows out air. A dirty filter can increase the number of allergens floating through your home’s air.
  • The Filter Looks Dirty
    If you take off the front cover of your window AC unit and you can see dirt or dust inside the filter, it’s time to clean or replace it.
Signs Window AC Filter Needs Changing

Finding, Removing, And Replacing Your Window AC Filter

You might be wondering, “Is the filter of my window AC unit easy or hard to remove?” The answer depends on the precise make and model of your window air conditioner.

For example, some window AC units have a front cover that easily pops off with a bit of pressure along the sides. Others are attached by screws or latches. As such, gaining access to the unit’s air filter could be as simple as popping off the cover, or it could require a screwdriver.

Either way, removing and replacing the air filter is a straightforward process:

  1. Identify the type of closure your unit uses to keep the cover attached
  2. Turn the unit off before removing the front cover
  3. Pop or pull off the front cover
  4. Identify the air filter; Most should look like a screen with several squares
  5. Either wash off and dry the current air filter or replace it with a new one
  6. Be sure that your air filter is secure within the unit
  7. Replace the front cover and make sure that it’s securely attached

If your window AC unit came with a user manual or owner’s guide, be sure to reference this booklet before getting started. It may contain a more detailed step-by-step set of instructions for air filter maintenance, cleaning, and replacement.

What To Look For In A Quality Window AC Filter

Qualifications of a Quality Air Filter

The first thing you’ll want to look for in a quality window AC filter is size. That’s because air filters come in a wide variety of sizes. Choosing the wrong size is bound to lead to frustration and product returns.

Another aspect to consider is the MERV rating. This rating reflects the size of particles allowed to pass through the air filter. The higher the MERV rating, the more airborne contaminants the filter will collect.

However, a higher MERV rating can also impact airflow. That’s because thinner filters make it easier for your air conditioner to pull in air, while thicker options can cause your unit to work harder. Choosing a filter with a rating of between five and eight is an excellent option, as these can capture lots of airborne dust and dirt without overworking your unit.

The best way to determine the right-sized AC filter for your window unit is to look at the size of its current filter. First, of course, you’ll need to open your window air conditioner to find the old filter.

Changing Filters For Popular Window AC Brands

Let’s take a moment to explore how to change filters for popular window AC brands like Haier, LG, and Frigidaire.

Changing Filter Of Haier Window AC

A Haier window AC filter change is relatively simple. Firstly, you’ll need to locate the tabs at the front of the unit that indicates where to pull the cover down. Then, after you’ve removed the front cover, you’ll grab the old filter by its middle tab, then pull it down to remove it.

Push the clean replacement filter against the metal vents until it sticks in place. Then place the cover back onto the unit, ensuring that it’s secure.

Changing Filter Of LG Window AC

An LG window AC filter change should only take a few minutes. First, remove the power plug from its outlet, then remove the cover by grasping its sides and pulling it toward you.

Grab the middle tab on the current air filter, then pull back and up to remove it from the unit. To install the new filter, slide it into the bottom tabs, then push it back toward the metal vents to secure it. Finally, replace the cover and plug your unit back into a power source.

Changing Filter Of Frigidaire Window AC

A Frigidaire window ac filter change starts with identifying the air filter tab. It’s often located directly beneath the control panel.

Pull back on this tab to slide to filter out of the unit. Then slide the replacement filter into the same slot. Be sure that your unit is powered off during this process.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about how to change window air conditioner filters.

How often should you change your window AC filter?

A window AC filter should be changed at least once every three months, though you may also want to consider changing your filter every month.

Homes with pets, smokers, or inexperienced cooks can benefit from monthly filter changes. After all, the more pet dander and smoke in your home’s air, the more quickly your filter will collect these airborne pollutants.

So, how often do you change a window ac filter? The answer depends on the air quality of your home, but the minimum recommended cleaning or replacement schedule is every three months.

How much do new window AC filters cost?

New window AC filters are relatively inexpensive, typically costing between $4 and $20. Naturally, these prices vary depending on filter size and strength. For example, larger filters with a finer mesh tend to be the priciest.

Does cleaning the AC filter help make it colder?

Changing or cleaning your window AC filter can help your unit run more efficiently, potentially helping it produce cool air more quickly. As such, a clean AC filter can help your unit produce colder air more reliably and for a more extended period.


Window air conditioner air filter replacement may be far easier than you think! Remember, keeping this small component clean and in excellent condition is a great way to improve your interior air quality and help your unit enjoy a longer lifespan.

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.