This sounds like an easy task, but we get questions all the time how, where, and when to change your home air filter. Below is a quick guide for you.
1) Locate the filters.
Look for large vents in your home. Sometimes these vents hold your filters. You can tell if filters are there by simply looking into the vent to see. If the filters are not there, then proceed to the indoor unit location. Some units have a filter door that is hinged and clearly labeled. Other units may require you to remove the door on the unit itself.
2) Make sure the unit is not running.
If you try to pull out or insert a filter with the unit running, you could risk damaging the filter or the unit itself if the filter gets caught up in the blower
3) Determine the size of the filter.
Most filters have the size clearly labeled on one of the sides. If it does not have the size printed, you can measure the outside dimensions. If you do this, bring your tape measure with you to the store when purchasing a new filter. The sizes printed on the filters are often rounded up for simplicity and you do not want to get one too big or small. Example: filter actually measures 15-1/2″x24-1/2″ but the print says it is a 16×25. Also check the thickness.
4) Select your new filter.
There are a myriad of options (and prices) out there when it comes to filters. In our opinion, do not waste your time with the filter that promises to cure every aliment in the world. At a minimum, get a filter that is pleated and does not cost more than $15 each. As a rule of thumb, thicker filters last longer if your HVAC system has the opening to hold them
5) How often to change it.
This one is different for every house. Many factors contribute to this including, pets, kids, in/out traffic, home cleanliness, home construction, and desired level of air quality. The rule is that the filter should be changed every 30 days. Our practical advice is to start with every 30 days and look at your filter before replacing. If you do not notice any dust, then put it back in and check 30 days later. Once the dust is visible then it is time to change. Do not let it go past 90 days.