How to Change an Air Filter
Yes, Bryan, “replacing” your air filters with a hole-laden pizza box in front of the air vent is a fabulous idea… aside from the obvious fire risk, it just isn’t practical and is far from attractive to behold. Let’s go over the right way to change AC filters.
- Find the furnace. Locate the filter compartment, which is typically a sliding metal door. This is the heart of the operation. You’ll want to examine the existing filter to help you out in step 2.
- Note the size. There is no uniform rule when it comes to air conditioning filters. While a common size is 16×24, all furnaces are different. Jot down the filter size and grab the car keys. It’s time to go shopping.
- Go to a home store. Make a pit stop at any big box home repair store and find your right-sized filter. AC filters come in a few varieties and are commonly made with spun glass ($) or polyester ($$). High efficiency filters are well-suited to dry climates, as they’ll catch not only dust (the main purpose of a filter) but also pollen and mold. If you or a loved one is prone to allergies, consider HEPA filters to ward off allergens.
- Determine the airflow. When you remove the old filter, you should be able to figure out the direction of airflow. Mark the door with drawn arrows to know which way to insert filters from now on.
- In with the new and out with the old. Pop your new filter in the same way the old one was placed, which should be easy enough. Toss the old one and enjoy the clean air!
- AC filters are scored. By that, we mean an efficiency score from 1 to 16. Higher scores mean better filtration (and therefore better filters).
- Replace the filter often. Experts recommend to keep the clean air moving by swapping out the old filters once a month. At the very least, change them every 4 months.
- Keep costs down. If you can’t change the filter monthly, that’s okay. But remember that doing so will cut down on your energy costs. That’s definitely a reason to keep up with it!
Now that you and Bryan know the right way to change an AC filter, don’t let us catch you poking a pizza box to death and sticking it in front of your air vent! There is a right and a wrong way to do everything; do it the right way!
For more tips about filters, watch this video tutorial about changing a furnace filter.