Not every homeowner is interested in the prospect of DIY maintenance. For some it’s simply easier to hire the appropriate service technician to clean the gutters, flush the water heater, and perform other annual home maintenance tasks, even though it can cost a pretty penny. In truth, there are certain tasks that are probably better left to the pros if you want to ensure your household systems keep functioning properly for years to come. And when it comes to annual HVAC inspection, cleaning, and repair, having a professional technician service your system should keep your equipment blasting out the hot or cold air as you demand it.
That said, filter changes are something that practically any homeowner can manage, and considering your system may need new filters more frequently than once a year, it’s not a bad idea to learn how to accomplish this relatively minor maintenance task between visits. Whether you live in a particularly dusty area, you suffer from serious allergies, or you have some other reason to change your filter more frequently than normal, there are a few tips that can help you make the job quick, easy, and hassle-free.
The first and best way to learn how to change out the filters for your furnace and AC unit is to ask your technician to show you how. While you could certainly call the company to schedule additional visits for this purpose, you’ll see that there’s really no reason to do so. Your HVAC technician should have no trouble demonstrating how to access the filter, swap it out, clean the area if necessary, and replace any panels or casings removed for the task. And unless your furnace or AC unit happens to reside in a particularly hard-to-reach area (like an attic or crawlspace) you should have no trouble replacing filters on your own. In most cases your equipment is designed to make this particular task easy since filters have to be replaced on a regular basis.
The next step is to makes sure you install the right filter, and your technician should be able to inform you of the type of filter you’re currently using, as well as offer options for higher-grade filters should you need them for the purposes of reducing allergens, just for example. You can also pull out the filter to find the manufacturer name and product number, which should be stamped somewhere on the edge of the product. From there you can search for filters at local hardware or HVAC supply stores, or save some money by ordering them online. And you’re sure to save over what your HVAC service provider charges since they often attach a fee to the cost of the filter for the convenience of ordering and installing it for you.
Of course, if you have pressing reasons why it’s important to change your air filters regularly, you might not want to wait for your next service call to find out how to replace your furnace or AC filter. In this case you can either use the manual that came with your equipment (if you have it) or look online for tutorials. Even if you can’t find one for your specific model you should be able to use the information provided to figure out how to access the filter and replace it on your own without undue hassle. Just remember to practice safety first, turning off your HVAC system and unplugging equipment before you open it up.