How and When to Change Household Air Filters

Air Filter

Like all the systems in your home, your HVAC system requires some routine maintenance to function at its best. In the case of heating and cooling, that means changing the filter that removes particles like dust and allergens from the air. We’ve put together a guide so you know when your filter needs to be changed, where to find it, and how to change a house air filter.

How Often to Change an Air Filter in Your House

On average, you should change a home air filter once every three months. However, other factors may make a more frequent change a good idea, including:

  • One or more household pets
  • One or more people in the home with asthma or allergies
  • Larger household size
  • Poor air quality around the home
  • Increase in particles from pollen season or nearby construction
  • Filters with a MERV rating lower than four
  • Filters thinner than two inches

You may find that you need to change filters every few weeks to keep the air quality in your home healthy. For example, a home with one furry friend should change air filters about every two months. If someone in your house struggles with severe allergies, you may need to change filters up to every 20 days.

Visibly inspect your air filter once a month and change it when it looks clogged.

Where is the Air Filter in Your House

To find the air filter in your home, you need to find your HVAC system’s air handler. The air handler is usually located in the attic, basement, or utility closet in a home and looks like a large metal box housing a motor and fan.

Locate a one- to four-inch slot covered by a metal cover. Inside will be the old filter. In a larger home, there may be a second filter at the return vent, usually located in a wall.

How to Replace an Air Filter in Your House

Once you’ve found the filter, it’s simple to replace it.

  1. Check what size filter you need and purchase a new one.
  2. Remove the old filter.
  3. Place the new filter in the HVAC system slot. Make sure to follow any directional arrows printed on the filter, which should be pointing towards the unit.
  4. Close the cover and dispose of the old filter.

Choose to use the same type of filter as before or upgrade to a denser filter. Dense filters remove smaller particles from the air and typically need to be changed less frequently.

Cunningham Offers Expert HVAC Service in Atlanta

At Cunningham Associates, we know how important healthy air is to you and your family. We’d love to help you improve or maintain your indoor air quality. That includes helping you develop a filter-changing schedule that works for your household. Schedule an appointment with our certified experts when you call (770) 343-7565 or request service online.

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