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Changing a Furnace Filter

How often do you think about the filter in your home’s furnace? If replacing your furnace filter isn’t part of your routine home maintenance practice, or it’s been a while since you’ve changed it, now is an excellent time to think about it! 

When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, as well as ensuring that the air in your home is as clean and healthy as possible, routinely changing your furnace filter is highly important.  

Read on to discover our top reasons why replacing your furnace filter is essential to the comfort of your home and the health of your HVAC system:  

System Efficiency – Replacing your furnace filter is important to ensure that your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible. When the filter becomes clogged with dirt, grime, pet hair, and dust, the A/C and furnace end up having to work twice as hard just to move air throughout your home. This, in turn, will drive up your energy costs each month, which also increases your home’s carbon footprint.  

Health Concerns – When a furnace filter is dirty, it allows dander, dust, and even mold to continue to circulate through your home. This can cause your family to breathe in this unclean air which can exacerbate conditions such as allergies, asthma, or other respiratory concerns.  

Increased Maintenance Costs and a Shortened HVAC System Lifespan – When your system has to work harder than intended to heat and cool your home due to a clogged filter, it can overheat and burn out. This can mean expensive repairs, or in some cases, replacing the entire unit.  

A Clean Filter Means a Cleaner Home – A clean, new air filter can drastically reduce the amount of dust inside your home, as it traps the dust and as a result, it is no longer circulating. By decreasing the amount of dust in your home, your home will be cleaner in general and will require less time cleaning.  

How Often Should I Change My Furnace Filter? 

Hopefully, we’ve successfully convinced you that replacing your furnace filter regularly is highly important and beneficial. How frequently the filter should be changed depends on several factors such as the type of filters, whether there are pets in the home, the type of HVAC system, etc. A good general rule of thumb is to change the filter every other month.  

How Do I Change My Furnace Filter? 

Replacing a furnace filter is a relatively simple task that any homeowner can tackle on their own, and takes approximately 5-10 minutes.  

Step by Step Instructions for Changing your Furnace Filter 

Step 1: Turn off the Power to the Furnace 

To begin, ensure that you turn off your furnace at the thermostat. This is a crucial step; if the furnace turns on without a filter in place, it might suck up any dust and debris which can cause damage to its internal components. 

Step 2: Find the Service Panel 

The next step is to locate the furnace’s service panel and slide or open the door. If you are unable to find the panel, refer to the manual for the furnace. If the manual is not available, in most cases the air filters are located near the air handler or blower compartment of the unit. They are also occasionally located in the ductwork near the blower fan or air-uptake vent within your home.  

Step 3: Remove the Dirty Filter 

After locating and opening the service panel, simply slide the filter out while taking care to note the direction of the arrow on the filter frame. You’ll want to install the clean filter with the arrows on the frame pointing in the same direction. The arrows indicate the direction of the airflow on the filter, and in order for it to work effectively it must be pointing in the correct direction.  

Step 4: Install a New Filter 

After removing the existing filter, simply replace it with a clean one. Before sliding it in, ensure that it is the correct size and that the arrows on the frame are pointing in the same direction as the previous filter. Once the new filter is in, you are safe to turn your thermostat back on and properly dispose of the old filter.  

The Bottom Line  

Replacing your furnace filter is a highly important basic home maintenance task, and is relatively simple to do. Properly caring for and maintaining your home’s furnace means cleaner and healthier air for you and your family, and a HVAC system that will continue to work effectively for years to come. 

If you want to learn more about changing furnace filters, receive a free quote or to schedule your home inspection, contact us at Building Insights today!  

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