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How to Change an Air Filter

When you own a home, there’s always simple maintenance that needs to be performed. You have to change light bulbs, maintain the yard, clean the pool…and change an air filter from time to time. Most of these can happen pretty quickly on your own if you have a little time and knowledge. And when it comes to air filters, you probably won’t even need any special tools. Here’s the down and dirty on the DIY of changing your home air filter.

Locate Your Air Filter

The first thing to do is identify where your air filter is. It can be on either floor of a multi-story home (or even on both). It could be in the ceiling, behind a door, or behind an intake vent on the wall. What it shouldn’t be is hidden since your air filter is where air is brought into the HVAC system.

Determine the Size Filter You Have

Once you know where the air filter is, you’ll want to open the compartment and find the size of the existing air filter. Some HVAC systems have more than one, especially if the intake is located behind something that resembles a closet door. And they could be different sizes, so note that.

You won’t need to measure the air filter. Instead, look along the side for the measurements. There will be three: the length, width, and depth. Write down these numbers, as you’ll need them when you go to the store so you can buy replacements.

Choose Your New Filter

You have a few options when it comes to purchasing your new air filter. While you have to get the size you need, it’s the quality that will differ. There are very inexpensive air filters that are just a few dollars each. Then there are the expensive ones that filter out pet dander and allergens. Besides price, the other difference is how often you’ll need to change an air filter. The cheaper ones need to be switched monthly; higher-quality options get changed quarterly.

Remove the Old Filter

Okay, so you know where the filter is located, and you’ve already looked at it to get the size, so this part should be easy. Just take out the filter. Be sure to carry it directly outside to the garbage bin. Do not pass go, and do not collect $200. If you put the dirty filter down, all of the dust captured on it is likely to transfer to your table or floor. And that makes a big mess. Believe us on this one.

Put in the New Filter

If you want to add some good smells to your home, consider adding some essential oils to the filter before installation. Adding aromatherapy to an air filter will freshen up the whole house.

It’s important to notice the direction of the arrows on the filter when you change an air filter and install it correctly. The arrows will say “airflow” and the direction in which airflow should go. Remember that the filter goes at the intake of air, so air flows into it. Because it’s an air conditioner, some people mistakenly think the flow of air is out, but