How Do I Change a Furnace Filter?

First, be sure to turn off your furnace. Then, remove the old filter, make note of what direction the airflow arrow is pointing, and insert a new filter that’s the right size and type for your system. Check the conditions of your furnace filter every now and then by looking for tears and by holding it up against any light to see if it has gathered excess dust and dirt.

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Steps for a Quick Change

Changing your furnace filters is a simple process and will only require some time, focus, and the following steps:

  • Turn off your furnace: It’s safest to switch off your furnace before changing your filters to prevent any harm to yourself or the system. Your furnace switch is likely located on the unit or on a wall nearby.

  • Locate the filter: You’ll probably find your filter on the inside of the furnace or inside the air vent. It should have an arrow on it to indicate the direction of airflow.

  • Remove the filter: Gently grab the filter with your fingers and slide it out. Make note of the direction the airflow arrow is pointing so you know which direction the filter was facing when you’re ready to put in a new one.

  • Determine the size of the filter: Your furnace manual may indicate the size and type of filter you need, or the dimensions may be printed on the filter itself. If this isn’t the case, you can use a ruler and measure it yourself: you’ll always want to use the correct size so your furnace can operate properly and efficiently.

  • Insert the new air filter: Slide your new filter into the space you removed the old one from.

  • Turn on your furnace: At last, you can turn your furnace back on and enjoy the clean air from your new filters.

It’s important to change your furnace filters periodically so that the air you’re breathing is healthy and clean.

Time for a Change

Most furnace filters need to be changed every three months, perhaps even more often. It all depends on what type of filter you have: Electrostatic filters don’t need to be replaced, but they should be cleaned every three months. Electronic filters should be cleaned once a month. Mechanical filters are not reusable and should be replaced once a month.

Why it’s Important to Change Your Filters

Furnace filters keep your system running smoothly. A dirty furnace filter can prevent efficient airflow and reduce the overall air quality in your home. As a result, your furnace won’t be able to heat your home as well as you need it to, and poor filtration can lead to more dust and debris floating in the air — meaning more allergies and general discomfort for you and your family.

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