As the seasons change, it’s very important that you ensure your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is functioning properly. In order for your HVAC to keep taking care of your family’s needs, you need to take care of its needs by routinely changing the air filter. The air in your home is constantly being circulated through the air filter, which captures the harmful bacteria found in many common viruses, molds and dust. Clean air filters mean cleaner air and healthier families. In addition to a happy, healthy family, regularly changing your air filter enables your HVAC system to run more efficiently, use less energy and reduce monthly energy bills. It’s a win-win!
To determine what size filter you need, check the HVAC owner’s manual, or you can usually find it printed on the side of your existing filter. Air filters can typically be found at any hardware store or purchased online. Once you have your new air filter in hand, follow these tips from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) to help make changing your air filter easy.
Step 1: Turn off your HVAC unit before you begin changing the filter. If you’re unable to turn off the unit itself, shut off the breaker.
Step 2: Locate the return vents containing the air filters (usually on the ceiling, wall or in the system itself). Remove the old air filter, and slide the new filter into place, making sure to follow the arrows or color-codes on the front and back of the new filter indicating which side should be facing out. When finished, you can safely turn the HVAC unit or breaker back on.
It’s best to change your air filter every month, but can also settle for every 2-3 months. If you have pets or a large family, you will want to change it more frequently.