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Expert Tips for Properly Changing Your HVAC Filter

Changing a filter may be a basic HVAC maintenance task, but it’s one that leaves no room for error. Any mistake can leave your heating and cooling equipment defenseless against airborne contaminants, causing sensitive components of your furnace or air conditioner to fail more quickly.

Since filter replacement is one of the few HVAC maintenance duties you can safely do yourself, it’s imperative to master it. Use the following tips from Birdwell Heating and Cooling to do it right in order to reduce the need for furnace and AC repair:

Switch Your HVAC Equipment Off

Never remove the filter while your furnace or air conditioner is running. Doing so creates a two-fold problem; first, the unfiltered air can cover the inner components of your HVAC system with dirt, and second, your equipment will spread pollutants throughout the house.

While letting your heating and cooling system operate without an air filter may not be an immediate cause for concern, it does increase the chances of sudden HVAC breakdowns, and may even trigger allergy attacks among your loved ones.

Check for Damage

Before installing a new (or newly-cleaned) filter, make sure it’s damage-free. Holes and bent fins are defects that will reduce the filter’s effectiveness.

Remove Residual Dust

Grab a rag or cloth to remove any dust remaining around the filter’s frame. If your filter is washable, Birdwell Heating & Cooling advises you to make sure it’s 100% clean before re-installing it.

Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

To avoid putting the air filter in backward, check the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Many filters have different front and back colors to indicate upstream and downstream flow, showing which side should face which direction.

Make Sure the Filter Stays in Place

Switch on your furnace or air conditioner, then watch for a couple minutes to ensure that the air filter remains in place the entire time. A less-than-perfect fit may lead to a premature cooling or heating repair.

If you’re having difficulty maintaining your HVAC filter or are experiencing furnace and AC problems, turn to Birdwell Heating & Cooling. Call (256) 229-3009 now to arrange an appointment with us in Athens, AL, or any nearby community.