How To Change an Air Filter

June 16, 2016

After a paltry winter and a mild spring, I was sure the pattern would continue and we would see record lows this summer. But it’s not even summer, and we’re already hitting triple digits. (Sweating at 7:30 in the morning is not okay, Oklahoma.) While I may not have a future as a meteorologist, I know a few things you can do to stay cool when things start to heat up.

One of the cheapest ways to cool down is to change the air filters in your home. For $35, you can get five air filters at your local home improvement or hardware store, which should last you four to five months if you’re changing the air filters out monthly.

Why is it important to change your air filter?

Using the same air filter all year long causes dirt build-up, which means the air you and your family are breathing in isn’t fresh, and over time, your gas and electricity bills will spike because your system has to work harder to cool and heat your home. Plus, your unit will wear out more quickly if you neglect to change out the air filters.

How often should you change your air filter?

Aim for once a month! With all the allergens swirling around, you want the cleanest air available, right? Switch out your air filter monthly so you can breathe the purest air and reduce wear and tear of the unit.

How do I know which air filter to get?

If you don’t have the manual to your heating and cooling system, no sweat. (Get it?) You can use a measuring tape to measure the height, weight, and depth of the system. Record the measurements in your Notes app, head to the hardware store, and find the brand of air filters that best fits your needs.

Okay, got the air filter. Now what?

Time to install! Turn off the unit, and open the compartment where the air filter lives. Remove the tabs of the panel that holds the air filter in place, and dust the panel off while you’re there. Utilize the arrows on the new air filter to determine how to install it. Make sure it’s facing the right direction. (The arrow should not be pointed toward you.) Press the tabs in, then step back and admire your handiwork. Flip the system back on, and kick back with a cold glass of lemonade. You’re already done!

A couple other ways to stay cool this summer? Eat tons of snow cones and make friends with someone who has a backyard pool.

Check out more at-home HVAC tips and tricks here.