If someone asked you to point out your HVAC filter in your home, would you be able to do it? The truth is most people wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to finding their filter. That’s where we come in! Certified Heating and Air Conditioning has put together the guide below to help you figure out what to look for when someone tells you to change or clean your AC filter. Not only that, but, we will explain how to change your air filter and the best practices for maintaining your HVAC unit.
AC Filter Location
The location of your air filter within your HVAC system largely depends on what type of system that you have. According to Trane, you will typically find the air filter in the return air duct in your home or located on the air handler itself. The return air duct is the large grate that is found on your floors, walls, or ceiling, whereas the handler is a larger box similar to the HVAC unit. The following locations are where you can typically find this grate depending on your system.
Horizontal HVAC Filter Location
In this system, the air handler is often found in attics, large basements, and garages. The air filter usually fits into a slot on the return side of the unit.
Vertical HVAC Filter Location
This type of system sees the handler located in smaller basements or attics. Again, the filter can be found near the handler itself, this time being found in a slot above or below it.
If you do not have either of these types of systems, this is when you can expect to find behind the return duct.
How To Clean Air Filter
In order to clean your AC filter, there are 3 steps you should take to make sure it is running as good as new. First, make sure you turn off the air conditioner before you remove the filter from the unit. After that, you are good to remove the filter and start cleaning.
The next two steps are ways in which you should clean the filter. If you notice any buildup of dust or debris, you should vacuum the filter to try and remove all of the buildup. After that you can turn to washing the filter. The best way to wash it is to fill your sink with half part water, half part white vinegar and let the filter soak for about an hour. Rinse it off with fresh water and you should be good to go! For the best filter efficiency, you should repeat this monthly. If you still notice that your filter is run down and filled with grime, it is time to replace it.
How To Change Air Filter
If you are changing an air filter that lives behind a return vent, you will first want to unscrew or unhook the grate that covers the vent. There, you will remove the old filter and replace it with a new clean one, making sure it is facing the correct direction. It is really as simple as that!
If you are replacing the filter that is connected to the air handler, there are a few more steps but it is still relatively simple. Make sure you first turn off your HVAC unit. Then, go ahead and unlatch the door covering the air handler’s filter slot and remove the old filter. If it is disposable, throw it away, if it is reusable, you will want to follow the steps on cleaning an air filter above. Allow the filter to thoroughly air dry and insert it back into its slot. Then you will resume power to the HVAC unit, but only once the filter is back in place.
For any HVAC need you may have, including questions on air filters and more, our certified experts are always happy to help. Contact us today!