Do you know that clogged filters in your heating system reduce its efficiency? And that changing the furnace filter will not only make the heater function better but also lower its power consumption? Most homeowners would want to hire a professional to change the filters, but if you go through some of the personal care user manuals online, you can replace the filters by yourself. The entire process hardly takes ten to fifteen minutes. Here's what you need to do.
Turn the furnace off
Start by switching off the furnace from the power source. Make sure the thermostat cools off before you start. This also protects your HVAC system from loose filters sticking out from the duct.
Locate the furnace filter
Once you go through the manual, you will find the location of your heater's furnace filter. Usually, these filters are either available between the blower fan and metal ductwork or inside the blower compartment. Some of the heating systems allow you to blow the filters or take them out and clean them in a sink or bathtub. A few heaters come with fiberglass filters. You need to replace them as they are not washable. The filters are available at home improvement or hardware stores.
Check the size of the filter
Online user manuals usually provide the size of the filter you need to buy. Alternatively, you can check the dimensions of the existing filter. Partially remove it and check the sticker on the cardboard filter frame. If you still can't find the dimensions, take a measuring tape and note the height, width, and thickness. It is better if you can buy filters belonging to the same brand.
Remove the filter
Always note the arrow on the sticker of the filter frame. It shows the direction of airflow. In most cases, the arrow points downwards. You should install the new filter according to the direction of airflow. Else, take a photo of the previous filter before taking it out. See that photo and install the new filter accordingly. The filter should point towards the furnace. Take out the existing filter slowly from its compartment. Make sure you don't spill dust around. Keep a garbage bag handy so that you can dump the old filter immediately.
Most of the furnace home air filters trap dirt, dust, and airborne particles before they reach the heater. Over time, they accumulate into a thick layer of dust that clogs the filter and affects the heating coil and blower fan. Try replacing the filter at least twice a year to make the heater work optimally.
Replace the filter
Note the installation structure of the old filter. Simply follow that direction of airflow and connect the new filter. Once it fits, just check if the filter is sitting firmly in its position or not.
Connect the plug of the heating system to the power source. Switch on the heater and check if it is working properly or not. If it does, you just saved a significant amount of money and gained experience on how to replace the filter the next time.