Furnace Air Filters

Replace your air filter for cleaner air and energy savings.

Furnace Air Filters - ImageA good heating and cooling system also filters dust and other particles from the air in your home. After a while these particles build up in the furnace air filter. If you have pets this happens much faster.

Think of it this way: dust and other particles make it more difficult for air to pass through air filters. This is sort of like a person trying to breathe through a thick cloth. The extra effort needed to pull air through the filter means more energy is being used. This costs more and wears out the furnace much faster. The same goes for air conditioners.

The solution is to replace furnace air filters once or twice a year. If you have pets, twice a year may make sense.

Replacing Furnace Air Filters

The process will vary depending on the type of heating and cooling system you have.

  1. Replacing Furnace Air Filters - Instructions on BoxLook at your current furnace air filter and write down the information. Take this with you when you go to the hardware store. You might even want to take a picture with your phone as well.
  2. Go to the hardware store and get the same furnace air filter. You may want to get two and save yourself a trip next year.
  3. Before installing, write the date on the filter itself. That way you can check if you aren't sure the last time the filter was changed.
  4. Follow the instructions and put the filter in your furnace (making sure it's pointed in the right direction).

That's really all there is to it. If you really didn't have the money you could just vacuum your current filter and put it back. It's not a great solution but it's better than nothing. There are also reusable furnace air filters you can purchase and wash instead of replacing, but they tend to be tougher to find.

Note that some people prefer to turn the electricity off at the breaker before installing the furnace filter for their home. Probably not a bad idea.

Try our Home Energy Checklist for more ideas on home energy savings.