Updated Oct 24, 2022
Air filters trap bacteria, allergens, and pollutants, purifying the air inside your home. As filters accrue dust and allergens, there is a greater risk for allergies and airborne illnesses. Learn how to change air filters and get other practical tips to improve and regulate indoor air quality.
It depends on the quality of the air filter. Filters are rated for one-month, three-months, or six-months. At a minimum, you ought to replace your filters twice a year. Many factors contribute to how often you may need to replace your air filter including the type of filter, the number of pets and occupants in your home, the quality of air in your area, availability of filters, and price. For maximum safety, plan to replace monthly. With a reusable filter, you may wish to wash and reinstall monthly.
Read more: Best home warranty.
Regularly changing your air filters improves the air quality of your home. It also provides the following benefits:
Your air filter is a component of your HVAC system and is typically located on the side of the air handling unit—the device that regulates and circulates the air in your home. Changing your air filter is a DIY job and will require 15–20 minutes of your time and a replacement filter that’s a proper fit. You also may have air filters installed in ceiling ducts within your home—you may need a ladder to replace these filters.
To check the size of the air filter, locate your air handling unit or ceiling duct to identify the filter. A metal strip may cover your filter and have a release gauge to free it for replacement. Most air filters have their dimensions printed on multiple sides for easily reading. Write down the size you’ll need—or snap a photo—so you’ll have it on hand at the hardware store. Don’t remove the filter until you’ve purchased a replacement and are ready to replace it.
While most air filters are disposable, some are washable and reusable. Ask the hardware store clerk for guidance or assistance if you’re unsure about which type of filter is currently installed in your home.
Once you’ve secured the replacement filter for your system, follow these six steps to change your air filter:
Cover your air conditioner with Select Home Warranty.
If you have a reusable air filter, follow these nine steps to properly clean and reinstall it:
There are multiple types of air filters—and even more variety within each category based on quality, manufacturer, and estimated replacement time. Here are the four common types of filters:
Read more: Choice Home Warranty reviews
Buy an Air Filter
To ensure your air conditioner functions properly throughout the year, schedule an annual maintenance visit with a professional HVAC service. During this appointment, a technician will check Freon levels, check for leaks in ductwork, measure airflow, inspect electrical terminals, check the accuracy of your thermostat, and perform relevant maintenance.
Here are some other ways to maintain your air conditioning system:
Read more: American Home Shield review.
Not sure which air filter to buy?
Shop by size and performance, and get your air filter delivered straight to your door.
Disclosure: HouseMethod participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
More in Maintenance