Your HVAC system requires a clean air filter to run at peak efficiency. Without this, your system won’t work and is at risk of damage.

Fortunately, there’s nothing difficult about changing your air filter. Once you do it one time, it’ll be second nature in the future.

Let’s examine the basic steps of changing your air filter:

  • Turn off your furnace
  • Locate your furnace filter
  • Remove the old filter
  • Replace the old filter with a new one of the same size
  • Turn on the furnace

It really is that simple. For most people, changing an air filter is only difficult the first time.

Air Filter Installation Tips

Now that you know the basics of changing an air filter, let’s dive into some tips that can make the job easier on you:

  • Know the size of your filter before you remove your old one (that way you can make a quick swap)
  • Write down the date that you replaced the filter, so you can stick to a regular replacement schedule
  • Write down which way your air filter goes (the arrow on the filter should face away from the return duct and toward the furnace)

If you put the filter in backward, it’s not as effective at removing debris from the air.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

This confuses a lot of people because the filter packaging may say something like “effective for up to 12 months.”

Ignore this. While it may be true, to a certain degree, an air filter is too important to your home and health to take a risk.

Having a routine schedule of replacing your air filter every 90 days. This helps proper air flow that your HVAC system needs to heat and cool your home efficiently.

How to Clean Your Air Filter

If your furnace filter is dirty, you need to change it. Cleaning it won’t work, as you’re only able to remove a small amount of the debris it captured.

The one exception to this rule is if you have a reusable air filter. You can clean and reuse these as often as you’d like, following this process:

  • Remove the filter and set it debris side up (this prevents dumping it on the floor)
  • Use your vacuum cleaner to remove debris
  • Thoroughly wash the filter with mild soap and warm water in a bathtub or utility sink
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water
  • Reinsert the filter

If you don’t mind spending extra money upfront on a reusable furnace filter, it’s an idea to consider. Just remember that you’ll have to clean it at regular intervals, which takes longer than replacing.

How Much Does an Air Filter Cost?

This depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The make and model of your furnace
  • The size of the air filter
  • The manufacturer of the air filter
  • The quality of the air filter (mainly the MERV Rating)

Expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 for a high-quality air filter.

Boston HVAC Service Professionals

It’s important to keep your HVAC system in good working condition. A big part of this is changing your air filter as necessary. We’re here to help if you have any questions or concerns about your HVAC system or air filter. We offer A/C tune-up services in the Boston area as well as our Peace of Mind Home Protection Plan.

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