How to Replace an AC Filter

Changing your air conditioner filter is an important task.

Most air intake filters are in the ceiling, covered by a metal grate.Most air intake filters are in the ceiling, covered by a metal grate.
The efficiency of your air conditioner is dependent on the ease of air flow through this filter. There is not a specific time frame during which a filter change needs to be done. It depends on the environment and filter type. Change your filter at least every six months, but more often if it looks dirty. Higher quality filters tend to catch more dust and particulates in the air, and should be changed more frequently. However, you should inspect it monthly. Clogged filters put stress on your unit and increase your costs.

Locate your air-intake. Often, air-intakes with filters are located in the ceiling, but they can also be at floor level. It is likely that an intake at floor level will need more frequent filter changes than one at ceiling level, particularly in houses with pets.

Remove the grate covering the air filter. The metal grate covering the air filter will have either small screws that can be twisted by hand or slide tabs to open it.

Remove the old air filter carefully. You don't want to reintroduce the trapped dust into your air conditioning unit.

Insert the new air filter. Make sure to place the filter correctly. Filters have an arrow or other indication of air flow on them. On ceiling units, insertion of the new filter may be easier if the system is running, as a small vacuum will be created and hold the filter in place.

Clean the grate. Wipe off any dust on it prior to reinstalling it. Place the grate back up and lock the levers or screws in place to hold it securely.

About the Author

Erica Harisson began writing in 2010. She holds four Microsoft certifications as a business intelligence developer, database administrator, SQL server 2008 business intelligence development and maintenance, and SQL server 2005. She earned a Master of Science in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.