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How to Change the Air Filter in Your Home

The job of how to change the air filter in your home is something you should do routinely. Any heating and cooling system that moves air through ducts has an air filter. The filter catches dust and particles moving through the ducts. It promotes better indoor air quality by keeping pollen, dust, and pet hair from perpetually circulating.

Of course, you need to change the filter, or it will clog. A clogged air filter slows airflow in your ducts. As a result, the furnace or air conditioner works harder. Power usage goes up while indoor comfort declines. The strain on the system will cause breakdowns and eventually total failure.

ToolsInvisible Water Leak

  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpie marker

How to Choose an Air Filter

Air filters, also called furnace filters, vary in quality. As you examine the products at the store, you’ll see that some are pleated and non-pleated. The material inside a pleated filter has numerous folds. This design creates an extra surface area for the material to trap dust.

On the other hand, a non-pleated filter presents only a single smooth plane of material. It has far less surface area than a pleated filter. A non-pleated filter will cost less than a pleated filter but needs to be replaced more often. A non-pleated filter should also be changed every month. A pleated filter may last up to three months.

Directions for How to Change the Air Filter in Your Home

  1. Locate the air filter or filters in your home.
  2. The filter will be in the air return vent or within the housing of the forced-air furnace unit. Air return vents are located in one or more rooms of your house. A small home may have only one. The number of return vents increases with the size of the home.
  3. Be sure to find every filter location so that you change them all. Keep in mind, that it is common for a home to only have one filter in the furnace.
  4. You may need a screwdriver to remove the metal vent or filter cover.
  5. After removing the cover, look at the old filter. Its dimensions should be printed on the side.
  6. If you can’t find the dimensions, measure the height, width, and depth of the slot where the filter goes.
  7. Buy a new filter that fits the space.
  8. Write the date with a marker on the side of the new filter. This will let you know how long it has been in there next time you check it.
  9. Look for arrows on the side of the filter. The arrows indicate how to position the filter so that the air flows through it in the correct direction.
  10. On an air return vent, the air flows from the room into the duct.
  11. On a furnace filter, the air flows from the ducts into the furnace.
  12. Slide the new filter into the slot with the arrows aligned with the airflow direction.
  13. Put the cover back onto the filter slot.
  14. You may want to set a reminder in your phone’s calendar to check filters on a regular schedule.

The Importance of Seasonal HVAC Maintenance

Your furnace and air conditioning equipment needs more than clean filters to perform optimally. Regular maintenance of a furnace and air conditioner ensures efficient operation. The lifespan of the equipment stated by the manufacturer assumes that routine maintenance gets done.

Technicians from Oliver clean and lubricate heating and cooling equipment. We also confirm that fumes are exhausting properly and that refrigerant lines are not leaking. Sign up for a maintenance plan so that you never get behind on this important chore. Contact Oliver for furnace or air conditioner maintenance today.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

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