It is surprising to discover just how many homeowners don’t bother checking or changing their furnace filter, mainly because they don’t really know how to do it.
There are good reasons for changing the filters on a regular basis and it really isn’t that difficult to do once you know the way to check when it needs changing and then how to go about replacing it.
Here is a guide to help you complete this basic but important maintenance task. Including a look at why you need to change your filter, how to go about changing it and some troubleshooting tips too. You can also take a look at this home maintenance checklist for more information, and check out the Ultimate Homeowner Guide for an extensive maintenance list to keep your home in perfect condition, as well as learning how to prevent problems before they happen!
The key to furnace efficiency
You obviously want your furnace to perform to the best of its ability so that your home is nice and warm and you don’t spend more than you have to for heating it.
One of the best ways to achieve these goals of optimum performance and cost-effectiveness is to get into the habit of checking your furnace filters regularly.
If you are committed to the idea of maximising the efficiency of your furnace the way to do it is to change the filter frequently. Furnace air filters are designed to do the job of trapping dirt and dust, plus keeping out as many airborne particles as possible from your furnace system so that you reduce the prospect of damaging the fan or the heating coil in particular.
Your filter is the first line of defence against all manner of airborne allergens, particles, and dust, but if you allow it to get too clogged up it stands to reason that it is not going to be anywhere near as efficient as it should be.
When to change the filter
A good quality filter should last longer than a basic version so you can take that into consideration when working out when to swap for a new one.
Ideally, you should look to change a basic furnace filter every 4-8 weeks. If you have pets in the house or there are smokers under the roof, these are scenarios that could reduce the lifespan of your filter.
You will need to change the existing filter when you are unable to see light through it.
How to change your filter
Once you have decided to change the furnace filter, you will just need to get the hang of how to do it and then it will just become part of your usual home maintenance tasks.
It would be a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your furnace if you have them available. This will help you to go straight to the filter and remove it with the minimum of fuss.
Even if you don’t have instructions to work with this shouldn’t be a problem as changing most furnace filter is a relatively simple task.
You should find the access to the filter housing at the bottom of the furnace. Make sure the furnace is off before you start for safety, then open the access and start to remove the existing filter.
Make sure you look for the arrow on the filter frame as this is telling you the correct direction of the air flow. All you have to do is take out the old one and replace it with your brand new filter, replicating the same air direction using the arrow as your guide.
If you do encounter some problems when trying to locate the air filter housing or replacing the filter itself, most issues are easily resolved with a bit of guidance.
Some furnaces might have air filters that are found in return air grilles. You will often find this in the ceiling or on the wall. The grill should have a hinged face which offers access to the enclosure where the filter is situated.