Posted On: January 21, 2015
We all know that changing your furnace filter is important. It helps you breathe easier and your furnace to work and last longer. So here is everything you need to know about changing your furnace filter. ConsumerReports.org has a step by step guide to help you become a pro and if you don’t have a computer, your owner’s manual should have instructions or you can also read this post.
First things first. Where is the filter? Pick up your owner’s manual and it will tell you where it is and how to remove it. If the filter has a cardboard frame, then it is disposable. Plastic or metal? Then it’s re-useable.
To change a disposable filter
Turn off the furnace. Shut off the switch at the fuse box, the circuit breaker, or the furnace cutoff switch.
- Remove the filter from its housing. The filter might be inside the furnace or inside the return air vent, as pictured here. There’s typically a marking on the filter indicating the airflow direction, which should be toward the furnace. Transfer this marking to a visible flat surface near the filter housing, like the outside surface of the duct, using a permanent marker so you’ll always know the right way to install the filter.
- Note the filter size printed on the cardboard frame. Write down the size and stock up on new ones at a hardware store, home center, or HVAC supplier.
- Install the new filter. Look for the markings that tell you which side of the filter should face the furnace. Then slide the filter back into place and replace any cover that goes over it.
To clean a reusable filter
Turn off the furnace as described above.
- Remove the blower door. In newer furnaces such as the one pictured, the filter will probably be inside the furnace. On older furnaces, it may be in the return air vent. If the filter has a plastic frame, it is reusable.
- Vacuum the filter. Use a regular vacuum or wet/dry vacuum to remove the large pieces of dust. Vacuum the area around the filter to help minimize the particulates that might be drawn into the furnace.
- Wash the filter. Do this outdoors, using a hose to rinse the dust out and remove particles from the screen. Allow the filter to dry completely before reinstalling it. Look for markings that indicate which side should face the fan and look to see that any metal hoops designed to hold the filter in place are in their proper position. Put the blower door back on the furnace.
If you feel like you need help, call the professionals at Genz-Ryan! We would love to help you and we can even set you up on our Auto-ship Filter Program where we ship your filters to your home on a yearly basis. This will help you to remember to change your furnace filter! Give us a call at (612) 223-6158.