An air conditioner filter becomes clogged with particles quickly, especially during the cooler season when air conditioners operate continuously. Failure to change your air conditioner filter might result in a repair, higher energy bills, and a shorter life period for your air conditioner. In other words, changing your air conditioner filter is one of the simplest ways to ensure that your system performs optimally year after year.

The good news is that knowing How To Change An Air Conditioner Filter, the process should be a straightforward operation.


An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your AC Filter

The air filter is frequently located near the thermostat in many homes. The first step is to find the filter. Look for a vent near your thermostat. Look at the air conditioning unit if you can’t discover a return vent with the filter nearby. The air filter in certain versions is located closer to the system rather than at the return air grille.

How To Change An Air Conditioner Filter

Once you’ve discovered the filter, proceed as follows:


  • Remove the cover by gently loosening the bolts that hold the front of the grille to the vent. Set it aside for now. The air filter should be located just behind the lid.


  • Pull it out with your hand.


  • Set the filter aside and evaluate its condition. A filthy filter is usually a dingy, greyish-brown tint when it’s past its prime. If it still seems whitish, it may still have some life in it.


  • If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new one.


  • Determine the arrow pattern on the filter’s edge. The direction of the arrows is critical for proper airflow. The arrows should not be pointing at or towards you. If they do, ventilation will be hampered.


  • Once you’ve located the arrows, turn them to face the wall.


  • Replace the air filter in the return duct opening, carefully putting the bottom section in first, followed by the top.


  • Check that the arrows are pointing in the direction of the duct.


  • Gently pat the filter into the opening to ensure it fits tightly.


  • Replace the cover.


  • Tighten the screws.


The job of changing the air filter is now finished. Because air travels easily through your system, replacing a blocked or dirty filter can make your home feel more pleasant. Consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier if you’re still experiencing comfort or humidity difficulties after replacing your AC filter.


What Is the Best Filter to Use?

Not all filters are created equal. There are various filter kinds and efficiencies available. The minimal efficiency reporting value (MERV) is a rating that indicates how effective a specific filter is at cleaning the air. Residential air filters typically have a MERV rating of 1 to 12, with higher numbers indicating that the filter is more effective in removing dust, particulates, and bacteria from the air.

Here’s a broad summary of the various MERV rating categories for home air filters and what they mean:

  • A rating of 1 to 4 indicates little filtration, with less than 20% of air particles eliminated.
  • 5 to 8 provides superior filtration, eliminating 20 to 35% of air particles.
  • Filtration from 9 to 12 is the best, removing at least 50% and maybe more than 90% of air particles.


The ideal air filter for your home is determined by your demands and the sort of HVAC system you have (especially if someone in your home has health conditions that necessitate clean air in your home).


Contact an HVAC repair services Chicago professional if you’re unsure what sort of air filter is ideal for your system. Installing a filter that is not appropriate for your HVAC system may pose concerns. You can also consult the owner’s manual, as the manufacturer specifies the range of filter efficiency ratings that work best with the system.

When Should You Replace Your Air Filter?

For most households, changing the filter every three months or so is beneficial. Homeowners should change it more frequently if:


  • You have shedding pets.
  • Your house is frequently visited.
  • You’re renovating your house.
  • Anyone in your household has allergies.
  • For whatever reason, your home becomes excessively dusty.

It’s also a good idea to check your filter once a month and replace it when it appears unclean or when the summer warms up and you use your AC more frequently.


If you’d like an HVAC specialist from Quality Services Inc. to take you through changing your air filter, or if it’s time to arrange air conditioning maintenance or repairs, call (708) 748-1946 or contact us online.

We assist Chicago residents and business owners with all of their cooling and heating needs, and we service all brands of HVAC equipment.

We are proud to offer high-quality air conditioning, furnace, and heat pump solutions to the Chicagoland area.

FAQs about Air Filter Replacement

What will happen if I don’t alter my filter?

Even if your HVAC air filter is just moderately unclean, forgetting to replace it might lower the performance of your heating and/or cooling system, resulting in increased power expenses.


If your air filter is not only unclean but partially or completely clogged, it can cause harm to other components of your HVAC system. A blocked filter can force the AC compressor to work harder, overheating it, or, in the winter, causing the heat exchanger in your furnace to overheat and break by decreasing airflow. Even if the parts are available, both are expensive to repair.

How To Change An Air Conditioner Filter

Quality Services Inc. suggests checking the air filter once a month and replacing it when it is dirty, or every three months.

Shouldn’t I go for the filter that has the highest MERV rating?

No, not always. Many HVAC systems were intended to use low-MERV fiberglass or pleated filters. Some may take higher-rated air filters, but going too high may impose an airflow restriction that affects efficiency as much as a filthy air filter does.


In general, the more restricted an air filter is, the better it is at removing airborne particles. Check your HVAC owner’s manual or ask our HVAC professionals at Quality Services for the maximum recommended MERV rating for your HVAC air filter.

What is it in my air that causes my filter to become brown?

The brown accumulations on an HVAC filter are usually just household dust, pollen, pet dander, pet hair, and other airborne particles that the filter is supposed to remove. If there are smokers in your home, there may also be residues of cooking grease and oil, as well as tobacco smoke.


However, if your air filter turns black, it could be due to candle smoke or more dangerous sources such as soot from a water heater or black mold. Contact Quality Services at (708)748-1946 for assistance in resolving air quality issues in your Chicagoland home. You can also contact furnace repair services close to Chicago loop for assistance and visit our website and learn What Causes Air Conditioners To Freeze Up.

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