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Changing an HVAC Filter


Do you know how to change your HVAC filter? It’s incredibly easy, and a task you can certainly do yourself.

How often it’s changed depends on your HVAC system, how many people live in your home and how much dust you create. Aim for at least one change every quarter, but some homes require a filter change once per month. If you don’t change the filter regularly, airborne particles can enter the system and clog up the works.

It will take a long time for a clogged air filter to cause serious damage, but every little bit hurts. Before a major malfunction hits, you can experience a pressure drop which minimizes airflow in the home. Eventually, you’ll have no filtering or airflow at all.

All the while, your HVAC system is working overtime trying to do its job, but it’s unable. This puts unnecessary stress on the system, resulting in total failure. However, it’s not just your HVAC system that will be traumatized.

Filtering for Health

The less filtered your air is (and indoor air is already less clean than most outside air), the more stress on your body and lungs. Some people may not even notice. If this is you, you’re lucky.

For others, it can be a nightmare. Someone who’s allergic to pet dander or other such particles can suffer greatly when these filters are clogged. Those with asthma are at an even higher risk.

No matter what type of HVAC system you have, there’s a filter to keep your air clean. Go without cleaning or changing it, and it also may get damp and grow mold. If black mold starts growing and compromises the system, it can be deadly.

The vast majority of filters are affordable, disposable and made of biodegradable materials. You can find multipacks that fit a variety of HVAC systems, but it’s important to know that the filter was designed to fit your unit. A poor-fitting filter can be just as useless as no filter.

Making the Change

It’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to how to change a filter, since systems vary. However, it should be self-explanatory and easy. If you’re still uncertain, ask your HVAC technician for a demonstration the next time he or she comes for a routine inspection.

Schedule a reminder to check your filter monthly. You may need to change it every month if you have pets, run your system over six months per year, have a big family or smoke indoors.

If you have a fireplace or live on a farm or near construction, more regular swaps also might be necessary. To get expert advice on how and when to change your HVAC filter, contact Complete Heating & Air Conditioning.