How Do I Change My Furnace Filter?

A Clean HVAC Air Filter is Essential for Increased Efficiency

furnace filters tennesseeChanging your furnace’s air filter is a quick, easy task you should be doing regularly.

It’s increasingly smart to set a monthly reminder on your smartphone—or write it on the family calendar—to check your air filter at least once a month and change it as needed. Neglecting and prolonging this task can have adverse effects on your health, as well as the health of your home heating equipment.

How To Change An Air Filter

  1. First, you need to know what size air filter you need. Look in your furnace’s manual for that or check what’s in your furnace now. The size is listed as three numbers for width, length, and thickness.

    For example: If the air filter reads 16x25x1, the filter is 16 inches wide, 25 inches long, and 1 inch thick.

  2. Once you’ve determined the proper size of your air filter, it might serve you best to purchase several to have on-hand when needed.
  3. Turn off the furnace.
  4. Next, find where the filter is on your model. Most filters are in the blower compartment or built into the metal ductwork before the blowing fan.
  5. Remove the old air filter, noting the arrow on the filter frame that marks the correct airflow direction. Make sure to insert the new filter the same way. It helps to write the direction of the airflow with a permanent marker on the furnace housing or ductwork near the filter.
  6. Put your used filter directly into a trash bag immediately after removing it to avoid dust and dirt spreading around the immediate area.

What Difference Does a Clean Air Filter Make?

A clean air filter does a lot for your furnace, your home, your comfort, and even your bank account. Here are some of the benefits:

Better energy efficiency. A dirty or clogged air filter forces your furnace to work harder to heat your home. That harder work means it uses more energy to operate, driving up your monthly energy costs. A clean air filter—along with regular professional maintenance—helps your furnace run at peak efficiency.

Protection for your furnace. One of the most common causes of a furnace breakdown is a dirty or clogged air filter. As we said before, filters left unchanged force your furnace to work harder, creating more wear on parts, which, over time, can lead to a breakdown. And those breakdowns can be costly. Too much wear also shortens the life expectancy of your furnace and forces you into having to buy a new furnace sooner than you should have to.

FYI, the national average cost to install a new furnace is $4,654. Needless to say, new air filters are much, much cheaper!

Better indoor air quality. An HVAC filter helps control airborne dust, dirt, and allergens from circulating around your home—but only if it isn’t clogged. Checking and changing your air filter regularly is especially essential if anyone in your homes has allergies, asthma, or respiratory conditions such as COPD. Another benefit? Less dust and dirt circulating around your home means cleaning the house is made a bit easier, too.

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