How to Change AC Filter in Your Apartment

A lot of effort goes into keeping your house clean and maintaining your apartment—mopping the floors, vacuuming, and doing your laundry. However, a task that’s often neglected is replacing the AC filter. Changing your AC filter is just as important as all other household tasks because it ensures clean air circulation.

A clogged filter can lead to your AC unit overworking, resulting in higher electricity bills. They also reduce your indoor air quality. We recommend that you change them every 1 to 3 months.

Now that you know the importance of changing your air filter, it is equally important to know How to change your HVAC air filter?

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Change HVAC Filter

Changing your existing air filter may not be as difficult as you think if you have the right methods. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to change the HVAC filter using DIY methods.

Locate Your Air Filter

The first step in how to change your HVAC air filter is to locate the filter grills and the number of air filters in your home. Your filter grill is usually located in the open areas of your home- on the wall along the hallway or the ceiling.

Find Out The Type and Size Of Your Air Filter

Taking down the specifications of the air filter you are using is a vital first step! Before you head out to buy a new air filter, you have to be sure that you know the size you need.

There are a couple of sizes to pick from, so getting the wrong air filter without specs is more likely than you think. If you can’t find the specs written on the air filter, you can inquire from your HVAC contractor.

Now that you have the size of the air filter, the type of the air filter is just as important. There are two main types of air filters—pleated and fiberglass air filters.

Older HVAC systems often use fiberglass air filters, and you should replace them regularly, at most every 30 days. While the newer air conditioning system uses pleated filters ( rectangular with a one-inch depth.) You are expected to replace this every 90 days if you have no allergies.

However, we advise you to cut that down from 90 days to 45 days for maximum efficiency.

Ensure that you replace your air filter with the exact type and specs. Also, if you have a media filter, they resemble the pleated filters but last longer; you might have to change your HVAC filter every 6 to 8 months.

Buy a New Air Filter

Generally, air filter prices vary; the range is between a few dollars to 50 dollars. The air filter’s brand, lifespan, and quality often determine the price. Remember, you also have to buy the right type and size. Also, don’t forget to choose an air filter with a MERV rating of at least 7. Picking out a good air filter goes a long way in ensuring nice indoor air conditioning.

Turn Off Your AC Unit

Before changing your air filter, you should turn your unit off. Turning off your air conditioner helps keep dust and particles out of your unit while replacing the filter.

Open The Air Filter Grill to Remove The Old Air Filter

Changing an HVAC filter is pretty simple and usually takes less than 10 minutes. Open the filter box by removing the metal clips that hold the grills in place. If your air grill is located on the ceiling, you may need to use a ladder to get to it. Your air filter is located directly behind the grill. Remove the air filter and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the dust around the filter grills.

Fix the New Air Filter

Insert your new air filter by popping or sliding it into place. Check that it fits snugly in the filter box. Snap the clips shut and close the air grill.

If you are unsure how to slide or pop the air filter into place, you might have to inquire from your apartment maintenance. And if that still doesn’t work, you can request an HVAC professional to help you do it.

How Frequently Should You Replace Your Apartment Air Filters?

An apt answer will be that it depends. Many factors often affect the duration you should use an air filter before it’s changed. So if you want to know how often to change HVAC filters, here are some factors to look into.

The Type of Air Filter You Use And Allergies

When you have allergies, the air must be free from anything that can trigger a reaction. Perhaps your air filter is the standard 1 to 3 inches one; change it every 30 to 60 days if you don’t have allergies. However, If you have allergies, you will have to change them more frequently—every three weeks.

Your Indoor Air Quality

If you start to smell something strange coming from the HVAC system or have poor air quality inside, it is a sign that you have to change your dirty filter. The instant the air quality in your apartment starts to depreciate, it is clear that you need to replace your air filter.

The Number of Pets You Have

The more pets you have, the quicker your air filter gets filled with dander, unless you have pets without danders, such as Yorkshire terrier. If you have a pet, you might have to change your HVAC filter every 60 days. If you have multiple pets, you might have to change your air filter more often—20 to 30 days.

The Number of People in The Apartment

If you live in your apartment alone with no pets, your air filter can go for up to three months. However, if you have a family of three and more, you might have to change the air filter more frequently to improve the apartment’s air quality.

Outdoor Air Pollution

If you stay in a congested, urban area with lots of cars on the highway, different kinds of pollutants will likely fill your apartments outdoors. You should change your HVAC filter often.

However, if you stay in a rural area or a place with less outdoor pollution, you might not have to change your air filter often. In a way, what goes on outside your apartment affects your indoors.

Since you have to change your HVAC filter often, then it is important to know how to change the HVAC filter.


You must choose the right air filter for your HVAC system and it must always be kept as clean as possible, especially within apartment settings. As a rule of thumb, if you have pets or allergies, or share your apartment with others, ensure that you replace your HVAC filter more often.

If you don’t know how to change the air filter in your HVAC system and are still having difficulties, or if you’d rather rely on the help of a professional, contact Hurliman today, and we’d be happy to help.

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