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Dealing With A Dirty Air Conditioning Filter

A dirty air conditioner filter is a common problem, but it's also pretty easy to fix, as long as you know the kind of filters your air conditioning system requires.

Check Your Air Conditioning Filter

Sometimes, all your system needs is a good cleaning. Dust and other particles that float through the air get trapped in your filter when your air conditioner is running.

Over time, this dirt and debris will build up and create a thicker and thicker layer on the filter. The thicker the buildup, the harder it is for your system to push air through, which stresses and stifles the unit.

You'll find the air filter inside the unit, just outside of the unit, or in a return air filter grille. Inspect it once a month and replace it when needed: if you can't see light through the filter when you hold it up to a light source, it's time to replace the filter.

How to check for a dirty air conditioning filter

  • Indoor air pollution can cause allergy and asthma problems or worsen the problem you might already have. If you feel lousy at home but better everywhere else, the problem could be in the air.

  • Before working on your air conditioner, make sure the power to the unit is turned off. Most filters are located just outside of the furnace or air handler and some may be located in the blower compartment of the unit.

    There should be a filter cover panel to remove and the filter will fit into a track that holds it in place. Note the directional airflow arrow marking on the filter as you remove it. When you're ready to put the filter back in, you'll need to make sure the arrows are facing the same direction.

    warning

    CAUTION: To avoid injury from the spinning blower assembly, make sure that the circuit breaker to the unit is turned off before you open the cover. Make sure that no one else can turn it back on while you're working.

  • Once you have the filter out of the unit, hold it up to a light source. If you can see light through it, your filter is okay. If you can't see light through it, it's time for it to be replaced.

If this isn't your issue, consider what else might be causing indoor allergens, a strange smell in the air, or air that's just too hot!

What To Do If You Have A Dirty Air Conditioning Filter

The good news is this should be a quick and easy fix. All you need to do is remove the dirty filter and put in a new one — just make sure it's the right make and model. Rest assured you can confidently do this on your own, but if you're not sure where to start, a Remote Assist techician would be more than happy to help you out!

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.

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