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If you don’t regularly change your air conditioner’s filter, it can have a negative impact on your system’s performance. HVAC professionals advise homeowners in Columbus, GA, to change their air filter once a month, especially when your AC is working overtime in the humid Georgia weather. However, changing your air filter doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple steps to learn how you can change your AC filter in as little as five minutes.

Step 1. Identify the Type of Filter

Check your current filter and make note of its type and size (there should be a small label on the side of the filter). Take a photo of it so that when you go to the store to buy a new one, the employee helping you will know exactly what type it is.

Step 2. Check the MERV Rating

Check the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) on your air filter. Six is an average rating, but if indoor air quality is very important to you, go with a higher number. This will reduce the allergens in your home’s air, which is especially important for family members with asthma or allergies.

Step 3. Turn Off Your HVAC System

Once you purchase your new filter, locate the filter slot in your HVAC unit and turn your system off before proceeding.

Step 4. Remove the Old Filter

Remove the old air filter, throw it away, and insert the new one. Make sure there aren’t gaps around the edges of the filter — if there are, you could have an incorrectly-sized filter. Call your HVAC contractor if this happens.

Step 5. Record the Date of the Filter Change

Turn the HVAC system back on and write down the date so you know the next time you should change your AC filter. Set a monthly reminder in your phone’s calendar so you don’t forget.

Keep Up with Regular Maintenance

Regularly changing your air filter improves your indoor air quality, extends your system’s lifespan, and ensures peak efficiency. In addition to changing your air filter, make sure that you’re staying on top of scheduling professional maintenance. Your system’s components need to be inspected and cleaned by an HVAC technician. The technician will visit your home at least once a year to ensure your air conditioner is in good condition and doesn’t require extensive repairs.

If you check your AC filter periodically throughout the month and notice it’s damp or dirty, install a new one, even if it hasn’t been a full month. If you have any questions or concerns about your HVAC filter, give Climate Control Heating & Air Conditioning a call today. Our knowledgeable service technicians are happy to assist you.

Originally published in Aug. 2018, updated in March 2020

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