Don’t Sweat It; Keep Your Cool.


Supplies needed for this challenge: an air filter and white vinegar



Why do you need to change your filter?

You have to change your air conditioning filter regularly. The filter keeps dust and other stuff from getting into your ac system. If you don’t change your filter regularly, the filter itself can deteriorate and get sucked into the system. That kind of stuff is not good for the motors and the valves. So regular maintenance helps your system last longer, and you won’t have to spend as much on repairs. It keeps your system from working as hard and will reduce your electric bill. Putting in a new filter also reduces the amount of dust and allergens in the air. Those things get trapped in the filter and you don’t want that circulating through the air.

How do you change your filter?

First you need to locate where your filters are. You may have more than one and they may be different sizes. Turn off the unit. Then open the grille on the return vent. Make sure that you have the right size filter. Then pull out the old filter. If it is still white, you can probably keep using it. If it is gray or dingy, you need to change it. When you aren’t using the air conditioner as much you will notice that the filter doesn’t get as dirty as fast.

We check ours on the first of every month. It’s just easier to keep it on a regular schedule. You can set up a monthly reminder on your phone or your calendar. If you want, you can take a sharpie and write the date on the edge of the filter so you know when you changed it. When you buy filters the more expensive ones are not necessarily better. You should look at your owner’s manual or ask your HVAC person. Ours told us to use the basic ones because the ones that filter more out make the system work harder. The new filter needs to go in with the arrows facing the wall. Close up the grille and turn the unit back on.

Don’t forget the drain line.

You also need to flush the drain line out. This keeps mold and algae from growing in the line which can be a problem especially in humid climates. A clog in the drain line is one of the most common reasons an AC person is called, but you can prevent clogs by flushing the line regularly. Make sure the unit is turned off. Find the air handler (usually in a closet, garage or attic). Locate the pvc pipe that is sticking up next to the handler. It should have a cap on it that can be removed. Pour ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar down the pipe. Put the cap back on and turn the unit back on.

Your turn.

First ask your parents if you can change the filter and flush the drain line. They may want to do it with you if you have never done it before. Take a picture of yourself  changing the filter or flushing the drain line and post it on social media tagging us to be entered into the drawing for the Amazon gift card.

If you would like a printable of this challenge, you can find it here.