HVAC systems need maintenance. That goes without saying, but many people leave their system alone for years on end, without doing anything. Even the timely replacement of the furnace filter is something that many neglect.
This does not always mean you need to spend a bunch of money on professional services. You also need to do some DIY maintenance if you want to get the most productivity out of your heating and air conditioning. Keeping your filters clean is one of the most important things to do. This article explains the importance of changing your filters, and why you should do it at least twice a year.
Furnace filters are basic components and they are easy to replace. You shouldn't try to clean your filter, as the electrostatic felt-like filter is very sticky. Dust will stick to it and get absorbed into the fibers. Basically, it is hard to clean a filter. In fact, doing so with a powerful hose vacuum can reduce the filter's strength. It is best to just replace. Even if you are unfamiliar with the comings and goings of your HVAC system, learning to change your furnace filter is not going to be overly complicated. If there is one manageable DIY project, changing your furnace filter about twice a year is definitely worth it.
It is needlessly costly to call a furnace repair pro to come change your filter. Just having them come to your home could cost over $50. Then when you add in the labor and cost of the filter, it can easily end up being over $100 for a job that you could easily do yourself in a matter of minutes. Also, furnace filters are cheap when your buy a multi-pack. For instance, a 4 pack might cost $40. So, you can have several years in replacement filters for less than one single HVAC service call.
Finding the Filter
Finding the filter might be the hardest part. Most filters, once your find them, can be removed from their compartments by hand. No tools are necessary. They often just slide right out. On the majority of furnaces, the filter is inside the cabinet box. It is usually near the top or bottom of the cabinet. It is almost always mounted directly where the duct meets the cabinet wall. In some systems, the filters is just on the outside of the cabinet box.
Once you've found it, take it out and put the new filter in. You just saved yourself some cash!