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DIY: Changing Air Filters

May 31, 2017

May 2017


Looking for an easy way to increase energy efficiency in your home? Try changing the air filters in your Air Conditioner!

ENERGY STAR© recommends changing your air filter every one to three months to maximize efficiency. “A dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%” ( When a filter has dirt and particles, less air can pass through, thus choking the system and increasing the effort it must exert to cool or heat your home.

There are many types and sizes of air filters to consider, all of which are given MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scores.  Panel or flat air filters (1 – 4 MERV) are designed to remove large particles from the air to protect the Air Conditioner Unit. They provide little resistance, for maximum airflow through the system.  As the level of filtration increases to the medium range (5 – 13 MERV), the resistance remains relatively similar while removing more contaminants. Beyond 14 MERV, the air flow through the unit can be compromised thus reducing energy efficiency.

Replacing your air filter monthly with one in the 5-13 MERV range will keep your air healthy and your system running optimally. Be sure to pay attention to the arrow on your filter – it should be pointing up.




Residential Air Cleaners:  A Summary of Available Information (Second Edition).  (August 2009). Retrieved from

A Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling.  (September 4, 2009). Retrieved from

Maintaining Your Air Conditioner. Retrieved from

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