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AC Tips: Diagnose A Bad Air Filter & Find Out How To Replace It

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The air filter in your air conditioning system is responsible for several things, including the quality of air circulating in your home. The following guide will help you diagnose problems with your AC's air filter. And it will also teach you how to replace your air filter on your own. 

Signs Of A Bad Air Filter

Your air filter is an important component to your air conditioning system because it filters several air pollutants. Your air conditioner uses coils to chill or heat the air that goes into your system. The system blows the air through air ducts that fill different areas of your home. But the air must go through your home's air filter before the air gets to you. This is to ensure that air-born particles, like pollen or dirt, do not get into the air. 

The following are a few signs that your air filter is not performing its job correctly:

  1. You may experience slightly higher energy costs. This could be due to a clogged air filter because it is forcing your system to apply more force to allow the air to pass through your filter. 
  2. Your air conditioning may begin to overheat because of a clogged air filter. As mentioned earlier, your air conditioner may have to work harder to push air through your filters.
  3. Your AC takes a long time to warm or cool your home (because the air is not going through your filter as it should).
  4. Allergy or allergy-like symptoms may start to affect you and your family. 

Your air filter may need to be replaced if you notice any of the aforementioned signs. The following steps should help you change your filter. But remember that you can just call your air conditioning system specialist from a company like Smith Air Conditioning Inc to take care of the issue for you if you feel uncomfortable with the following steps.

Changing Your AC Air Filter


  1. Make sure you consult your owner's manual to find out what air filter you need. 
  2. Consider what type of air filter you want, as there are 12 ratings that filters might have. One with a rating of 12 is the best but also makes your air conditioning system work harder and use up more electricity. So keep that in mind when deciding or just talk to your air conditioning system specialist for suggestions. 
  3. Locate your air filter using your owner's manual. Most are located on the right side of the unit (if your air filter happens to be in the air ducts, then it is best to call a professional).
  4. Turn off your air conditioning unit. If you don't know how, look it up using the owner's manual.
  5. Open the slot, which usually requires a little force. Some slots do have a screw or two, so remove those. 
  6. Simply replace your air filter with your new one, and you are done. Secure the filter in place, and close the slot. 
  7. Turn your unit back on, and your air should be back to normal.

That is how simple it is to take care of a clogged or dirty air filter.