Every homeowner should know how to change their air filter. Even if you rent your home, changing out the filter could be your responsibility. If you don’t change it as needed, you could decrease the performance of your HVAC system. You can also get unwanted particles in your home.
To get the most from your HVAC system, you should regularly change your filter. Follow these tips and you’ll know how to do it in no time.
Look for the Filter
One of your biggest challenges might be finding your filter. But if you know where to look, you can find it quickly. Typically, filters are found in the return air duct. They can also be in the air handler or furnace housing.
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Once you find it, turn off the power to your HVAC system. This will keep the air from blowing as you remove the filter. When it’s out, look at the filter. Is it temporary or permanent? If it’s a permanent filter, you need to wash it. If it’s temporary, you need to replace it. Determine the size of the filter and buy a replacement of the same size.
Choose the Right Filter
Unless you have a stack of filters at home, you probably need to shop around for a new filter. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are many different types of filters and several factors to consider.
For instance, you need to choose a filter of the right size. You can look at your old filter or make the measurements yourself. Keep in mind that you need the right thickness. Typically, home air filters are one inch in diameter. But they could be thicker.
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You also need to consider the type of filter. If you buy an electrostatic particle filter, it will rely on an electrical charge to remove small and large particles from your home. A fiberglass filter is less effective. With this type of filter, you can only remove larger particles.
To learn more about the effectiveness of your filter, you need to look at the MERV rating. A filter with a higher rating is more effective at removing particles from the air. However, it can also slow down the air flow in your HVAC system.
Replace the Filter
You should replace your filter every three months or sooner. If it’s a permanent filter, clean it every three months. Homeowners with pets or excess dust should change their filters even more frequently.
When it’s time to change your filter, pull it out of the housing. You should take a rag and clean the vents and area around the filter. Before you insert the new filter, write the date on it. This will help you remember when you need to change it.
You need to insert the filter in the right direction. The air will flow upstream, so position it accordingly.
There should be no gaps in your filter. If there are, air can pass through. This allows particles to enter your HVAC system. As a result, your coils and ducts will become dirty. Replacing your filter could be the key to a long-lasting HVAC system.