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How Often and Why Should I Change My Air Filter?

6/6/2023 HVAC
How Often and Why Should I Change My Air Filter?

Changing your air filter on your HVAC system regularly is a mandatory item on your to-do list in order to keep your systems functioning at optimal performance and ensure that clean air is circulating throughout your home.

Not regularly changing your home’s HVAC air filter causes your unit to work harder and leaves it more susceptible to breakdowns. Dirty air filters can lead to higher energy bills because your system has to work harder and longer to pull air through the house. Increased dust and allergens can cause health concerns or physical discomfort. And, finally, and most concerning, clogged filters can lead to system failures causing expensive repairs or replacements. 

Filters should be changed approximately every 1-3 months if you have a 1-inch thick air filter. Five inch filters can last longer, needing to be changed every 6 months to 1 year. 

How to Change Your Filter

Here’s how to change your air filter when it’s time for a replacement.

  1. Purchase the right size filter—Check the old filter, which should have the size printed on one of its sides, but if you can’t locate the size of the old filter, use a measuring tape to check its length, width, and depth.
  2. Turn off your unit—Turn off the unit, or turn your system completely off at the circuit breaker.
  3. Locate the filter—Your air filter is located in one of two places: a return duct or the air handler located in an attic, basement, or utility closet.
  4. Remove the grille or cover to the air filter—If your air filter is located in the system’s air handler, open the access panel. If your filter is in the return duct, flip the latches that hold the grille and remove it.
  5. Remove the old filter and insert the new one—Take the old filter from its place, paying careful attention to how it was situated inside the cover or grille. Take the new filter and place it inside, making sure the airflow arrows are pointed into the unit.
  6. Replace the cover and turn your system on.


Or, we can change your filter for you. Call Classic Plumbing & Air to schedule your air filter change at (217) 586-7473.