Changing the air filter on your HVAC system is probably one of the best things you can do to keep your system running efficiently and help improve the air quality in your home.
As the furnace or air conditioning system moves air throughout your house, the system’s air filter catches dust and other particles. When the filter becomes clogged, this can block airflow and make your system work harder than it needs to, using more energy. A dirty filter isn’t good for your home’s air quality either, as it lets contaminates and allergens build up in your home.
Your air filter is usually located in one of these two locations:
If you’re not sure what size and type of air filter your system requires, you’ll need to remove the current filter to check the dimensions.
Important: As you remove the filter, take note of the direction of the arrows on the filter’s edge. This will be important when you install the new filter.
After you remove the filter, see if the dimensions are written on the edge (length x width x height).
If the dimensions of the filter are not on the filter frame or edge, you’ll need to grab a tape measure. After you get the measurements, you’ll need to round the numbers up a little. For example, a filter that measures 19.5 x 13.5 x .75 means you need a 20 x 14 x 1 filter (in inches). Ideally, if you still have the HVAC system’s manual, you’ll find the filter dimensions listed there.
Most standard 1-inch air filters have a 3-month life, but when to change your filter depends on these factors: