How to Replace Your AC Filter: A Step-by-Step Guide by Anderson Heating and Air in Bentonville

Address:  1202 McClain Rd Bldg 7, Bentonville, AR 72712, United States

Phone number: +14792695876



Regularly replacing your AC filter is one of the simplest and most effective ways to maintain your air conditioning system. A clean filter not only improves the efficiency of your unit but also enhances the air quality in your home. Anderson Heating and Air is here to guide Bentonville residents through the process of replacing their AC filters. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explain why changing your filter is important and how to do it correctly.

Why Replacing Your AC Filter is Important

Before we get into the steps of replacing your filter, let’s discuss why this task is crucial:

  • Improved Air Quality: Air filters trap dust, pollen, and other particles, preventing them from circulating in your home. A clean filter ensures better indoor air quality.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: A clogged filter makes your AC unit work harder to push air through, reducing its efficiency and increasing energy consumption.
  • Prolonged Lifespan: Regularly changing the filter reduces strain on your system, helping to extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.
  • Preventing Issues: Dirty filters can lead to problems such as frozen coils and poor airflow, which can result in more serious issues if not addressed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your AC Filter

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before you start, ensure the AC unit is turned off to avoid any risk of electric shock or injury. Turn off the system at the thermostat and, if necessary, at the circuit breaker.

Step 2: Locate the Filter

Air filters are typically found in one of three places:

  • Return Air Duct: This is the large vent where air is drawn into the system.
  • Air Handler Unit: This is the indoor part of your AC system, usually located in a basement, attic, or utility closet.
  • Filter Grille: Some systems have a dedicated grille for the filter, often located in the ceiling or wall.

Step 3: Remove the Old Filter

Carefully open the filter compartment and remove the old filter. Take note of the direction of the airflow arrows printed on the filter frame. This will help you install the new filter correctly.

Step 4: Check the Filter Size

Before purchasing a new filter, check the size of the old one. Filters come in various sizes, and it’s essential to get the right one for your system. The size is usually printed on the filter frame.

Step 5: Install the New Filter

Insert the new filter into the compartment, ensuring that the airflow arrows are pointing in the correct direction (toward the blower and away from the return duct). Make sure the filter fits snugly and securely.

Step 6: Close the Filter Compartment

Once the new filter is in place, close the filter compartment securely. If your system uses a filter grille, make sure it is properly latched or screwed back into place.

Step 7: Turn the Power Back On

After completing the filter replacement, turn the AC unit back on at the thermostat and circuit breaker if necessary. Your system is now ready to operate with improved efficiency and air quality.

How Often Should You Replace Your AC Filter?

The frequency of filter replacement depends on several factors, including the type of filter, the number of occupants in your home, and whether you have pets. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Standard Filters: Replace every 1-3 months.
  • High-Efficiency Filters: Replace every 6-12 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Households with Pets or Allergies: Consider replacing the filter more frequently, such as every 1-2 months, to ensure optimal air quality.

Tips for Choosing the Right Filter

When selecting a replacement filter, consider the following factors:

  • Filter Rating: Filters are rated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Higher MERV ratings indicate better filtration but may restrict airflow if your system isn’t designed for them. A MERV rating between 8 and 11 is usually sufficient for most homes.
  • Type of Filter: Choose the type of filter that best suits your needs—fiberglass filters are affordable and disposable, pleated filters offer better filtration, and HEPA filters provide the highest level of filtration.
  • Size: Ensure you purchase the correct size filter for your system. Measure the dimensions of your old filter if they’re not clearly labeled.


Regularly replacing your AC filter is a simple yet essential task that can significantly improve the performance and longevity of your air conditioning system. By following this step-by-step guide from Anderson Heating and Air, Bentonville residents can easily keep their systems running efficiently and their homes comfortable. Remember, if you have any questions or need professional assistance, our team is always here to help. Schedule an appointment with us today for all your air conditioning maintenance and repair needs.

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