At the hub of your air conditioner, you have probably noticed a section (usually marked) that you can open to remove and replace your air filter. That filter, a muffled screen with a cardboard shell, may look simple – but it can play a very important role in your home! Here's how these filters work, and a few ideas on how you can help them.

Anatomy of an Air Filter

An HVAC filter is designed to trap particulates that float through the air, as that air is circulated around your ductwork. If you look at your filter, you will probably see that it has a wavy design in the fabric: That makes sure as much dust as possible is collected by the filter as air passes. The cardboard design and easy placement allow you to quickly replace the filter whenever you want.

Why Air Filters are Important

Your air filter helps your HVAC and home in two very important ways. First, it can protect your air conditioning system! All that dust can do a lot of damage to your HVAC system over time while drastically lowering its efficiency. The filter can keep these problems at bay. Second, it improves the air quality in your house. This can be an issue if you suffer from allergies or want to prevent bacteria and spores from floating around.

Changing Air Filters

Your home air filter isn't designed to last forever. Most filters are meant to last around several months – there are a lot of different suggestions on when to change filters, but leaving it in all year can inhibit airflow and decrease efficiency in your system. Many people choose to change their filters at the turn of the seasons, such as at the beginning of fall, winter, spring and summer.

When buying a new filter, it's helpful to look at two things. First, you'll want to examine the size of the filter, which should be printed very clearly on the side. The new filter should be the same size to fit into your ductwork. Second, look at which way the arrows on the filter are facing – this indicates airflow, and your new filter should be put in the same way.

If you have any other questions about your air filter, where to find it, or how to use it, please contact Ragsdale for more information! We're glad to help out.

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