Change Your HVAC Filter This Often to Save $$

September 04, 2018

how long should my ac run to cool my house

How often do we recommend changing your filter?

Well, you should change your HVAC filter whenever it gets clogged. For Kansas City homeowners that usually means you should change your air filter...

  • Every 90 days during fall and spring (milder seasons)

  • Every month during summer and winter (heavy cooling/heating seasons)

In this article, we’ll explain:

  1. Why changing your HVAC filter saves you money

  2. How to change your air filter

Why changing your HVAC filter regularly saves you money

Changing your air filter regularly saves you money in 2 ways:

  1. It keeps monthly energy costs down

  2. It can help extend the life of your AC

Reason #1: Changing your filter regularly keeps monthly energy costs down

Just like a car gets better gas mileage when you change the oil, an AC gets better efficiency when you change the air filter.

And when we say “better efficiency” we mean that your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home—which means you won’t spend as much on your energy bills.

You see, your air filter’s job is to catch dirt and pollutants so they don’t enter the rest of your HVAC system and create problems.

But if your air filter is doing its job (i.e. keeping all of the dirt out of your HVAC system), that means your filter will get clogged. A clogged air filter is no good for your system because it restricts the air your system can “breathe” in.

dirty vs clean air filter

A clean air filter vs a dirty air filter

When your HVAC system can’t pull in enough air to heat/cool, it has to run longer—which means higher monthly energy bills.

Reason #2: Changing your filter regularly can extend the life of your AC

Air conditioning systems are expensive, so you want to make yours last as long as possible.

Something as simple as changing your air filter can prolong the life of your HVAC system.

Remember how we talked about a dirty filter restricting airflow?

Well, in addition to raising your monthly energy bills, a dirty filter can also cause overheating. Overheating happens when components in your HVAC system are working too hard to heat or cool your home’s air. And when components overheat, they break down.

Parts of your HVAC system that can overheat due to a clogged filter include:

These parts are expensive to replace, and in some situations, if they break down you may need to replace your entire AC or furnace system. You can reduce the chances of those parts overheating by changing your air filter regularly.

Learn more about the dangers of a dirty air filter by reading our article, “Dirty Air Filter: How it Will Kill Your Home's AC System.”

How to change your HVAC filter

Follow these steps to change your HVAC filter:

Step #1: Find your HVAC filter

Your air filter can be found in 1 of 2 places:

  1. The return register: Look for a grille on the ceiling or wall where air enters your HVAC system.

The return vent grille

An open return vent (with the grille removed)

2. The air handler: The air handler is the indoor part of your HVAC system, where the air is either cooled or heated (depending on how you set the thermostat). You’ll most likely find your air handler in the attic, basement or closet.

A diagram of an air handler

You’ll likely find your air filter in a small slot near where the duct connects to the air handler. You may need to unscrew the service door the access the air filter.

Step #2: Remove the filter, and replace it with a new one

1. First, make sure you have the correct size replacement filter (you’ll see the dimensions written on the side of the filter). Learn more about choosing the right replacement filter by reading our article, “Home Air Filters: A Simple Buyers Guide.”

2. Gently remove the old filter.

3. Wipe down the area around the filter slot to remove dust and debris.

4. Place the new filter into the slot, making sure the arrows on the side of the filter point into the system (as opposed to the house).

Make sure the arrow is pointing towards your HVAC system, not away (towards the house)

Note: If you have a media air filter, learn how to change it by reading our article, “How to Replace an Aprilaire 2200 2400 Media Air Filter.”

Need help replacing your air filter?

If you get stuck replacing your filter, or you just want recommendations on a good filter for your HVAC system, we can help.


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