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How To Change A Commercial HVAC Filter

In this post:

  • When and how to change an HVAC air filter
  • How often should you replace an HVAC filter
  • Why you should replace commercial HVAC filters


We filter the water we drink, so it makes sense that we should be filtering the air we breathe as well. One way this can be accomplished in commercial settings is to regularly change your HVAC filter. Many common problems with air ventilation can result from a clogged filter, so knowing how to change your commercial HVAC filter will allow you to deal with some of the most common HVAC issues yourself. Knowing how to change the filters in a commercial HVAC unit is a skill that can save you time and money (no need to hire and wait for an HVAC specialist).

How Long Do Air Filters Last?

The length of time that your air filter will last depends on various environmental factors. If the air outside is heavily polluted with contaminants, your HVAC filter will need to be changed more frequently to preserve the quality of indoor air.

Many HVAC systems have maintenance sensors that indicate when a filter change is needed; however, it’s still best to change the filter when the dust and debris accumulation gets too thick. One filthy air filter is all it takes to reduce the airflow inside a building and cause an HVAC system to overwork itself, leading to higher energy bills.


Replacement HVAC air filters


How Often Should You Change A Commercial HVAC Filter?

In most cases, commercial HVAC air filters should be changed quarterly, though it's best to note the change intervals as recommended by the filter manufacturer, so check the packaging on your filter. If filters are left in a system beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation they can become dirty and clogged. Regular monthly checks of your filter are encouraged, as seasonality, environmental impacts like wildfires, and even things like construction in the building can impact how much your filter is, well, filtering.

Why You Should Change Your HVAC Filter

Dirty or clogged filters can cause a number of issues, including water damage, or damage to air-conditioning compressors or heat pumps. This occurs because there isn’t as much air flowing over the evaporator coils and the coolant builds up within them, causing freezing of evaporator coils, which can require major HVAC system repairs. Additionally, air filters prevent the build-up of dirt in the ducts, and periodic duct cleaning can be expensive.

Not only do clogged filters prevent a building from cooling properly, but they also prevent it from heating properly, too. Since clogged filters restrict the amount of air that can flow through ducts, the heat within the heat exchanger just continues to mount. This can result in severely reduced energy efficiency and may even cause the system to shut down because of temperature build-up in the heat exchanger, a universal safety feature on all heating units.

Some poorly designed industrial filters can even unload particles if they are not changed in time, exposing the occupants of a building to an increased number of particles from air pollution, which can create serious health problems after long periods of exposure.


Ready to Change Your HVAC Filter?

Always follow manufacturer directions on your HVAC unit for changing out your filter(s). Most units follow the steps below:

  1. First, make sure the power is off to the unit (there's usually a power box on the side of the HVAC unit). 
  2. Remove the access panel/filter doors to allow access to the filter.
  3. Remove the old filter(s) from the unit. 
  4. Replace with a new filter or filters, making sure to follow the directions on the filter label to ensure the filter is facing the correct direction for proper airflow.
  5. Close up the access panel door.
  6. Turn the unit power back on. That's it, you're done!

Ready to change your filters? Let us help you find the right filters for your commercial HVAC system. We offer hundreds of filter sizes, from custom filters to a complete line of HVAC filters and V-Bank filters. Our team of experts will help you with MERV suggestions, and change cycle recommendations. Our specialty is providing quality replacement HVAC air filters for businesses of all types and buildings of all sizes. Visit nspirefilters.com to learn more about our range of commercial and industrial HVAC air filters.

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