How to Change an Air Conditioner Filter

Change an air conditioner filter by locating the return air shaft, opening the grill up and pulling the old filter out. Learn about the different kinds of air filters to use for an air conditioner machine, such as high-efficiency filters and fiberglass filters, in this free video from a home repair specialist on maintaining and fixing houses.

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Video Transcript

I'm Tim Gipson, and I'm going to talk to you about how to change an air conditioner filter. Now in most of your residential homes, your air filters are going to be located in your return air, which is usually right by your thermostat. So to change your filter you want to open this grill up and there's usually a couple of fasteners here at the top, you just simply rotate these out and pull down the grill and then you can pull the filter out. Now there's a couple of different type of filters that you can use. This is a high efficiency filter. As you can see it has more of a solid fabric to it. The standard filters are fiberglass filters and those are usually a blue in color. Those work fine but they filter out actually a very low percentage of your dust and spores and different things that can get into your house. So these are good to use. Regardless of the type of filter you use, you want to make sure that you change these filters out at least on a three month, every three month basis. If you happen to live in a particularly dusty environment you may want to do it at a more frequent interval than that. So when you go to put this in now this particular filter, this is what you want your filters to look like, this particular has been changed recently, so you can see it's nice and white, there's not a lot of dust. When you get a lot of dust, and this becomes a very dark color, and that's when you know it's time to replace it. So when you get ready to put this back in, one thing that you'll want to look in is these filters actually have an airflow indication. So they go back into the filter and they go a particular way. And you want to make sure that of course the air flows in, so you want that arrow pointed towards the duct. So it's easiest if you put the bottom in first and you push the top in and you want to just make sure it's securely against the base. Then we can close our grill, push the fasteners back in and you're ready to go. Now in some cases you may have a central air conditioning system that actually has the filters located in the unit itself. So that might be the one exception. You can always consult your owners manual to find out exactly where those filters are. So I'm Tim Gipson and that's how to change an air conditioning filter.


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