If you ever looked up air conditioner maintenance online, you’ve inevitably read about the importance of changing your air filter. But why does it matter, and what exactly does an HVAC air filter do? Read on to uncover the reason behind this integral part of your air conditioning system and how to choose the right one when it’s time for a replacement or upgrade.
The Role of an Air Filter
Many people mistake an air filter for an air purifier, but they are not the same. The air filter is a screen that catches dust and dirt particles from the outside air before it’s circulated through your HVAC system and pumped into your home. Although it does remove some pollutants from the air before it enters your home, its main function is to ensure that none of the dirt and other contaminants from the outside make it into your ducts or get caught in your system.
An air purifier, on the other hand, is strictly dedicated to improving your indoor air quality, and there are many different options on the market depending on your situation and needs.
How Often Do I Need to Change My Air Filter?
Most residential air filters need entirely replaced every 90 days. Some may need to be changed as frequently as once a month, but the majority will need to be swapped out approximately four times each year.
The type of air filter you have will determine how often it needs to be changed or cleaned and how effective it is at filtering contaminants from the air. All air filters have a MERV rating, which stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value.” MERV ratings range from one to 16, though most residential units have filters that range between seven and nine.
How to Change an Air Filter
Air filters can be tricky to replace if you don’t know your way around your HVAC system. Refer to the user manual that came with yours or contact a licensed technician to help give you a rundown of your HVAC unit; if you are unable to find the manual, you most likely won’t be able to determine what size and type of filter you need to buy.
At Anton’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer HVAC maintenance, cleanings, installation and, of course, air filter replacements. To learn about our services and to receive a free estimate, call us at (314) 582-0745 today!

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