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How to Change Your HVAC Air Filter

The HVAC air filter is critical for preventing dust from settling on delicate system components where it could potentially cause damage. A filter with a higher efficiency rating removes even smaller airborne particles to clean your indoor air.

As your HVAC filter traps pollutants, it starts to become dirty and clogged. This blocks airflow, reducing efficiency and possibly causing the system to overheat. To prolong the lifespan of your furnace or air conditioner, change the air filter every one to three months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Not sure how to change your HVAC air filter? Follow these tips.

Choose the Right Air Filter

The easiest way to tell the different filters apart is to compare the MERV rating.

  • MERV 1 – 4 is the simplest option. These are one-inch disposable filters made of biodegradable paper or a similar material.
  • MERV 5 – 8 includes pleated filters that provide a bit more filtration power. Some may have an electrostatic charge to help collect smaller particles without restricting airflow.
  • MERV 9 – 12 describes wider pleated filters with more superior filtration capabilities.
  • MERV 13 – 16 includes electronic air cleaners designed for people with sensitive respiratory systems.

In most cases, your best option is to choose a mid-efficiency filter in the MERV 5 – 12 range. This results in above-average filtration without straining your HVAC equipment.

Change the Air Filter When Needed

With the right replacement filter in hand, it’s time to change out your old one. Follow these steps for the best success:

  • Turn off the HVAC system.
  • Find the air filter slot and open the door.
  • Remove the old filter and wipe up residual dust with a damp rag.
  • Take the air filter out of the package and inspect it for damage.
  • Follow the directions printed on the filter to ensure you install it the right way (many will have an arrow).
  • Once installed, make sure there are no gaps around the filter frame. This could mean you purchased the wrong size.
  • Secure any levers, gaskets, or seals that hold the filter in place.
  • Turn the HVAC system back on and observe the filter for a moment to make sure it stays in place securely.

Schedule HVAC Services in New Jersey

If you notice a problem with your HVAC system while replacing the air filter—such as bent fins, excessive dust buildup, or moisture intrusion—contact Arctic Air Conditioning, and we’ll come take a look.

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”Fred listened, explained and resolved my issue very professionally. I was very satisfied with the service he provided”

- Murray Kasper
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”I liked the service. Never overpriced the work. My husband is HVAC tech and couldn’t figure out and they did quickly.”

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”I have never been disappointed with this business. They never try to rip you off. They are very honest and I am thankful for all the work they have done…”

- Barbara Alexander
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”Jesse the technician who responded to our home was great and determined to trouble shoot the problem. He made sure to keep me informed of everything along the way.”

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”Have used this company a few times over my 20 year span living in Old Bridge. They have always been punctual, fair priced and honest. A rarity in the HVAC…”

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”Always reliable especially in an emergency situation. Thank you Arctic for your quick response.”

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”Fast response very professional very knowledgeable technician”

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”We have been using Arctic Air for several years, and have never been disappointed; Today's service was no different! Dante was professional, and knew exactly what he was doing, and…”

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”Wish I would had done this sooner! Best thing I have done for my home to make it more enjoyable. The team of guys which were sent were awesome very…”

- Carolyn Dembowski
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”Thank you for providing outstanding service. I have used this company for years and Artic always is very professional and honest. Will always recommend Artic”

- Barbara L.
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”It is very reassuring to know that Artic Air has the best technicians. We have used this company for several years and we always have a good experience with Artic.…”

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”When at first service do not succeed the company stands by its customers and returns until job done right. Managers very supportive of clients and from my experience staff in…”

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”I got my Lennox heating & AC unit through them 8 years ago & get my system maintenanced twice a year with my contract. Always on time, professional & friendly.…”

- Beronica Sime
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”My air conditioner was not working at all and Artic Air conditioning sent Tony who figured out the problem in no time at all and fixed the problem. I would…”

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”Called Artic Air after another company we contacted didn’t bother to call us back. Our experience with Artic was great from start to finish! Very professional people who answered the…”

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”Called Artic Air after another company we contacted didn’t bother to call us back. Our experience with Artic was great from start to finish! Very professional people who answered the…”

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”They were so efficient and helpful!!”

- Amy Pole
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”Wonderful HONEST people. Highly recommend”

- David Sherman
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”Kevin D was knowledgeable, courteous and fixed the problem. If there's a next time, I hope we get him.”

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”Knowledgeable, experienced and courteous. Was very happy with his work. Will definitely recommend to my friends.”

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