Here, at HVAC Santa Clarita, we can never underestimate the importance of how to change the central air conditioner filter correctly. This is because filtration is the first step to purifying your property’s indoor air.

call 661-888-0248

Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!

A damaged or dirty air filter will allow particles and air pathogens to thrive quickly, resulting in poor indoor air quality.

The beauty is that once you know how to locate your air filter, replacing it is easy.

In this article, we’ll explain:

  • Why you should change your AC filter;
  • How to change your AC filter; and
  • Any issues you might face when changing your AC filter.

Okay, let’s get on the move. If you are not sure that you can even possibly do it, call AC Repair Santa Clarita or AC Installation Santa Clarita at 661-888-0248 now.

Why Change Your AC Filter?

The air filter’s function is to keep loose debris away from your HVAC system. You’d be surprised to know how much accumulates there in such a short period.

Also, the uncertainties surrounding airborne transmissions have brought air conditioning service in Santa Clarita into the spotlight, particularly regarding AC filters. Some scientists even propose that people use HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) to confine virus particles and improve indoor air quality

However, if your AC filter is clogged, you will not be able to confine virus particles, dirt, pet dander and dust.

A clogged filter will also cause wear and tear on your central HVAC unit. When this happens, a complete breakdown is on the horizon. 

Moreover, the clamped AC unit filter inhibits enough air from passing through the unit to keep it running efficiently. You must periodically install a new filter to promote proper airflow. most filters

Knowing when to change your dirty filter is vital.

According to ENERGY STAR, you should inspect and replace your AC filter monthly, especially during peak season. Perhaps that’s more frequent than you want to contact your trusted HVAC technician.

Of course, we like seeing you, but this is a task you can manage individually if you want.

But first, knowing how to find your AC filter is essential.

Follow this procedure to change your air filter at home. 

How to Change Central AC Filter

 Find the Filter location

In your house, the air filter is often located in a return duct next to the thermostat. Or, it’s probably close to the air handler cabinet for your AC system.

For most systems, however, the filter is located where the return duct meets the air handler. Nonetheless, in the unlikely event that you only have one and not the other, this is how each will appear:

  • Return Ducts

This air conditioner features a grate on the ceiling, wall, or floor with slatted gaps that allow the air to travel through. They often have a larger vent size than your typical air duct.

To find a return vent, hold your palm or a scrap of paper up to the vent while the AC’s fan is turned on. If you feel a suction effect or the paper is drawn toward the vent, it’s a return vent.

  • Air Handler

The air handler is a big metal box that houses the AC’s fan and motor. It usually resides in the basement or attic.

When you see it, search on the appliance’s left, right, top, or bottom to locate the changeable filter.

Sometimes, air handlers must be unbolted by hand or with a tool to reach the AC filter.

Once you’ve located either system, search for a slot in which an air filter should fit. Larger residences may have many units, each with its filter.

Get the Right Replacement Filter

Getting the correct filter size for your AC can be tricky. Although the filter size is usually labeled on the side of the filter, you can quickly get the measurements wrong.

When in doubt, the most straightforward approach is to ask your HVAC technician to get you a batch of suitable filters for your AC. Or, you can request them to show you the filter size information so you can buy them from your local hardware store.

Also, remember that you may want filters that go the extra mile. Keeping dust out of your AC may not be sufficient for you.

If that is your preference, invest in HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 10 or above.

They will enhance your home’s air quality by eliminating pollen, mold, and other potentially dangerous particles.

Replace Your Air Conditioning Filter

Follow these simple steps to replace your central AC unit’s filter and keep your unit running properly.

Unplug the power source

Your safety and that of your equipment are why this step is crucial. If you come into contact with live voltage, you risk getting electrocuted. 

Also, running air conditioners might draw more dust and debris into the unit while you’re uninstalling the clogged filter.

You must turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker and the appliance itself.

Put on a mask and gloves

First things first: If there is even a remote possibility that virus particles or molds are in your environment, they might get lodged in your AC filter. Therefore, put on a mask and gloves while replacing the filter.

Take out the old filter

Just remove it from the slot that keeps it in place.

Examine the condition

Examine the AC filter’s condition once you’ve removed it. Does it seem stacked with debris and dust? If it’s clogged, there’s probably less light penetrating through if you raise it to the sky.

Depending on your brand, you’ll have to clean or change that filter. The best option is to replace it, even if it has been in use for a short period. Many things might influence how quickly your filters get clogged.

For instance, New York’s smog alone can reduce an air filter’s lifespan.

Dispose of the old filter safely

If there are impurities on the filter, throw it in a carrier bag and dispose of it in a trash can outside your property.

Clean the new air filter

Do you have washable or disposable filters?

Generally, a disposable filter features a cardboard canvas and a surface made of paper or fiber mesh. On the contrary, a permanent, reusable filter has a durable metal frame glazed with a unique coating to make it washable.

If you’re using a reusable filter, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s washing guidelines. 

However, you’ll likely need to rinse it with water and let it dry thoroughly.

Or, in certain circumstances, you may vacuum the dust away.

Replace the old filter

All that’s remaining is to reinstall it correctly. On the filter’s frame, you’ll see an arrow showing you the direction in which the air should recirculate through the filter. That direction is toward the air handler system and away from the return air duct.

If you do it in the opposite direction, your air filter will malfunction.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now that you understand how to replace or clean an AC filter, set a monthly reminder, so you don’t forget. 

Also, if your furnace’s filters are isolated from your air conditioner, don’t forget about them.

Problems You Might Experience When Replacing Your Air Filter

When replacing your AC’s filter, you might face a few areas that seem tricky. They include:

  •  A lot of dust in your air ducts: Excessive dust and debris around the ducts or in the area behind the filter is a sure indicator that your return ducts are blocked. If the return ducts are clogged, certain regions of your home may experience less airflow and more dust gathering on surfaces.
  • A Damp Air Handler: If your air handler is damp, a few things could be wrong. This might include:
  1. A leaking drain
  2. A blocked condensate line
  3. An iced evaporator coil

When these problems arise in your house, sooner you realize your central AC is not cooling the house. You will, therefore, need a professional to diagnose and repair your unit. 

Improve Your HVAC Maintenance

If you lack a regular HVAC repair technician to ask about how to replace air filters, you’ve probably been ignoring other vital maintenance duties. Yes, you do not have to wait for a broken down system to start looking for how to fix central air conditioner not cooling house. 

Regular maintenance keeps your equipment operating well, allowing components to last longer and perform more effectively. This means the system consumes less power, is less costly to repair, and has a longer shelf life.

Hence, a preventive maintenance contract between you and a trusted HVAC technician is essential. Because it’s a minimal investment, it reduces running expenses and provides more assured comfort.

Furthermore, you can get a contract suitable to your specific requirements, equipment, and pocket.

AC Maintenance Santa Clarita >>>

 HVAC Santa Clarita Air Filter Replacement

The process of changing the AC air filters is a simple task. It will not take you more than 10 minutes. 

 However, let’s face it, not everyone can do it. And it has nothing to do with your DIY abilities. Sometimes, a professional needs to step in. 

Whether you are unable or have no time to change your central air conditioner filter, feel free to search for reach out to us and get help. 

We will help you understand the filters of window AC vs central air and how to change them. 

How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter Frequently Asked Questions

Do all central AC units have filters?

All HVAC units should have air filters, but finding them on some units can be challenging. Usually, air filters are located in the blower compartment or the return air duct.

How often should you change the filter on your central air conditioner?

If there are no allergic people in your household, you can replace your dirty air filter once every 90 days(1). However, if you are in a dusty place, or there is somebody with allergies in your house, do it monthly. 

What Happens if you don’t change your AC filter? 

 If you do not change our air filter, it will begin to malfunction. It will not filter out dust and other debris. In the long run, dirty air filters may also affect the functionality of your central air conditioner. 

Can a dirty air filter stop my central air conditioner from working? 

Yes. Other than lowering your air quality, many issues can arise from dirty filters. Your system may break down, and you may have to call a residential HVAC technician or commercial AC service for commercial buildings. If worse comes to worst, dirty filters may result in complete failure of your central AC. 

What are the signs of a dirty AC air filter?

You do not have to wait until you see these signs to change your air filter. However, if you spot them, you must get on your DIY boots or call your local HVAC technician. ‘Here are signs that your air filters are dirty:

  • The central AC is not cooling enough as it should, 
  • Increased electricity bills, 
  • More duct on air vents and surfaces, 
  • Increased allergy attacks. 

Final Words on How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter

If you manage to change your AC filter, big up. Just set a reminder to change the filters as needed, and enjoy top-quality air. 

However, if, for some reason, you cannot seem to change the air filters, feel free to contact your local HVAC technician. There is no shame in asking a for help. Just search for “HVAC service near me,” and you will get your nearest technician.

call 661-888-0248

Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!

HVAC Santa Clarita
26893 Bouquet Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita CA 91350

Opening hours

Monday 8 am – 8 pm

Tuesday 8 am – 8 pm

Wednesday 8 am – 8 pm

Thursday 8 am – 8 pm

Friday 8 am – 8 pm

Saturday 8 am – 8 pm

Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Ductless AC Installation Santa Clarita >>>

Central AC Repair >>>

AC Unit Running When Turned Off >>>

How to Clean Clogged Air Filter of AC >>>

How to Choose Central AC Unit >>>

Gas Furnace Problems >>>

Leave a Comment