Changing the air filter in your furnace regularly is an easy and essential way to maintain your HVAC (heating ventilating and air conditioning) equipment.
During the winter months, when you're running the heat constantly, dust and airborne particles can clog the filter. A dirty filter slows down airflow, which makes the system work harder to heat and cool your house. This translates into a less efficient system and higher energy bills
. Filters should be changed at least every three months, or more often if you have allergies or furry pets.
To remove the current air filter:
1. First turn off the power to the furnace.
2. Then look for the filter near the air handler or inside the furnace by the blower. It may have a panel over it that needs to be popped off.
3. Once you locate it, slide the old filter up or out carefully to prevent the dust from going everywhere. Examine it (most are disposable with a cardboard frame) to find the make and size (dimensions are printed on the side) and write it down, or take it with you to the hardware store.
Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter can filter even microscopic particles allergens like dust, smoke, smog, and bacteria. Photo: The Home Depot
A new air filter can cost from $4 to $15 depending on the brand and style. The more expensive models have added allergen filtrations or odor absorption. Most big box stores carry them.
In fact, The Home Depot's website has this handy air filter buying guide
to help you choose the right size and type of air filter for your HVAC system.
To install the new filter:
1. Simply slide the new filter in, making sure that the airflow arrow (on the top) is pointing in the same direction as the old one.
2. You might want to write the date on he new filter, just so you remember when you replaced it last.
Now you can breathe easily knowing that your filter is producing clean air!