Simple Guide on How to Change a Furnace Filter
It may seem like HVAC contractors and technicians rattle on and on about keeping up with changing your furnace filter. But this is absolutely for a good reason! Keeping your filter swapped out and fresh is one of the most important things a homeowner should know, and it’s an easy task that pays you back big in the performance and efficiency departments.
Trouble is, many homeowners don’t actually know how to get the job done. With summer starting to wind down here in Kent, the experts at AAA Heating & Air Conditioning thought now would be the perfect time to teach, and you’ll be glad to know the process is actually very simple.
Soon summer will give way to chilly fall and winter weather. Don’t forget to schedule your seasonal furnace maintenance with AAA Heating & Air Conditioning today!
Your Quick Guide to Changing a Furnace Filter
Before you do anything at all, your first step should be getting replacement filters. Since finding out the size of yours is part of the changing process, we’ll start here:
- Ensure your HVAC system is shut down (you probably want to wait for a cooler day later this month if you use a combination forced air system or a heat pump) and not running at all by setting the thermostat to “off” and waiting a few minutes.
- Locate the door panel on your indoor furnace unit—it should be forward-facing and have a set of grilles on the panel. The panel should be easy to pop right off, though some have a release latch or two.
- With the panel off your filter will be exposed. You’ll want to look along the side of the filter to find its measurements. You might have to remove the filter to do this, but the filter literally just slides or pops right out.
Got your measurements? Good! Now, all it takes is a quick trip to the hardware store or closest general store near you, or you can choose to purchase upgraded filters from an HVAC specialist or supplier.
- Slide or place your new filter in, ensuring to place the filter with the air flow arrow facing in the correct direction (it’s pretty much a “this side up” sort of instruction on most filters)
- Place the door panel back on and make certain it is secure. And that’s it! You’re all set.
We would recommend purchasing a packaged set of filters for future use. Buying in bulk tends to be cheaper and ensures you have filters on hand for when you need them. Be sure to change your filter every one to two months for the best results!
A Quick Note on MERV Ratings
While selecting your replacement filter you may notice that they talk about “MERV Ratings.” Put simply, the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value denotes the effectiveness of the filter. The higher the MERV, the smaller the particles the filter is capable of catching. However, we would not recommend going higher than a MERV rating of 10 without a professional’s advice, as these can actually be too effective and might restrict airflow in your furnace system—a problem that can lead to ineffective heating, overheating, and potential breakdowns.
Furnace Maintenance in Kent, WA
You’re now armed with all you need to know about this homeowner staple. But don’t forget that a filter change is not enough on its own. To get the most reliability out of your system this season, be sure to set an appointment for furnace maintenance with the pros at AAA Heating & Air Conditioning. You can schedule online at any time!