DIY: How To Change An HVAC Air Filter

Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is one of the most important (and one of the easiest! things you can do to keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently.

Not only will replacing your air filter greatly improve the indoor air quality in your home, but it will also help prolong the life of your unit. It’s a DIY HVAC maintenance task that doesn’t necessarily require the help of a professional.

A homeowner changes out an air filter.

  • Locate Your Filter

  • Your air filter is typically located in one of two locations; Behind a ceiling or wall-mounted return air grille or in an attached filter case on the blower compartment of your furnace or air conditioner.

  • Know Your Filter Size

  • Air filters come in an assortment of sizes so you will want to make sure you know exactly what size you need to ensure your HVAC system continues to work properly. The dimensions should be listed on the edge or frame of the filter, but if not, you can use your tape measure.

    You may need to round up to the nearest inch.

    For example, if your air conditioner or furnace filter measures 18.5 in x 12.5 in x .75 in., then you will need to purchase a filter that measures 19 in x 13 in x 1 in.

    If you are lucky enough to still have your HVAC manual, the dimensions will be listed there.

    Changing Your Filter

    1. First, use your thermostat to turn off your AC or heater
    2. Remove the old filter, but make sure to remember the direction of the arrows on the edge of the filter as you take it out.
    3. Insert the fresh filter with the arrows facing in the same direction as the old filter. In ceiling-mounted filters, the arrows should face up. If the filter is next to your blower, the arrows should point towards the blower.
    4. Close and latch the vent holding your filter and filter frame in place. Once that’s complete, your new filter will be ready to keep dust and debris out of your system.

    Tips For Changing Your HVAC Air Filter

    1. During heavy usage months such as the middle of winter or summertime, a great reminder to change your filter is the day you receive your energy bill. This will ensure your filter is fresh, clean, and prepared to keep dust and other particles out of the air in your home for another month.
    2. Writing the date on the edge of the filter when you change it makes it easier to remember how long you have gone between replacements. Keeping up with routine HVAC filter changes helps your system run more efficiently.
    3. Prevent running out of filters by signing up with a service that ships them to you on a regular basis.

    Ensure Your HVAC System Runs Well This Winter

    Deljo has been providing dependable heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system maintenance for the homeowners of Chicago since 1922. Our HVAC unit experts are happy to replace the filter for you after we inspect, clean and ensure your unit will continue to run safely and efficiently all year long.

    If you are due for your annual maintenance, give our expert technicians a call to schedule an appointment for a system tune-up today.