DIY: How to Change Your Furnace Filter
Do you remember when you first started driving, and your parents asked you to check the car for oil? You probably didn’t know where to start. Just like young drivers, most first-time homeowners don’t know where to begin when dealing with their home’s furnace.
You may not know this, but there is a filter inside of your home’s furnace that needs to be changed on a regular basis. You also may not be aware of how vital a clean filter is to the ability of your home’s HVAC system to rid the air of harmful pollutants.
Fortunately, we have changed a few filters and we know that replacing a furnace filter can be easy, if you have some basic knowledge. We want to make sure that our customers know how to buy the correct filter for their unit and how to install it.
The job can be done in three steps:
First of all, you need to figure out what type of filter your system uses. Begin by shutting off the furnace (safety first!). Then remove the existing filter, which is usually visible inside the furnace or inside the return air vent. Take particular notice of the arrow on the filter, this is indicative of airflow direction. Use a marker to indicate the airflow direction on the outside of the furnace, that way you will always know the right way to install the filter.
Is your filter made of plastic? Good news! That means it is reusable. Use a vacuum and water periodically to keep these filters fresh. Once dry, they can be reinserted.
Second, purchase the right replacement. Take the old filter with you to the store, that way you will know exactly what you need. Maybe you prefer to keep it simple? Take a picture of the label with your phone to show to an associate at the hardware store.
If you prefer to buy online, make sure to match the type and size of your current filter before purchasing. If you want to make a major filter change to improve energy efficiency, your system may have to be modified by an HVAC professional.
Finally, it’s time to install the new filter. Use the arrows you made on the outside of the unit to confirm that your filter is facing the correct direction. Then slide the filter back into place and replace the cover. Make a note of the replacement date for future reference.