How to Change Air Filters: A Comprehensive Guide

Changing air filters is an important part of maintaining a healthy home and car. Learn how to change an air filter in your home or car in less than an hour.

How to Change Air Filters: A Comprehensive Guide

Changing air filters is an important part of maintaining a healthy home and car. Depending on the type and efficiency of the filter, it should be changed every 30 to 90 days, with more frequent changes during peak winter and summer months. Engine air filters should be changed once a year or every 12,000 miles, and more often if you live in a dusty area. Keeping the air filter clean keeps the engine free of dirt and is its first line of defense against dirt-related damage.

Do you know how to change the air filter in your home? Open the return cover and remove the old filter, then replace it with a new one that is the right size to fit the opening, making sure to orient it so that the arrow of the airflow points towards the ductwork. Household air cleaners are designed to filter air from one direction, so that as they are loaded with dirt, they don't collapse or fall apart. When it comes to cars, changing the air filter is possibly the simplest maintenance job you can perform. To open the air cleaner housing, simply remove the fasteners, remove the top of the air cleaner housing, and pull out the air cleaner.

While these factors affect the frequency of air filter replacement, you should visually inspect the filter every month for excessive particulate buildup. Replacing the air filter is important because it can extend oven life, reduce energy bills, and improve indoor air quality. The filter prevents dirt and other particles from entering the engine and allows clean air to pass through. When you can replace the air filters in your home, you'll move toward cleaner air in every room.

If you experience any symptoms such as poor engine performance or reduced fuel economy, check your engine's air filter first. You can also touch the filter and, if dirt falls out, it has passed its priming and needs to be replaced. Most filters are rectangular (older cars that have carburettors use a donut-shaped air filter) and are made of a porous paper-like material, folded like an accordion. Compared to other DIY home improvement projects, changing air filters is a quick and painless process that can be done in less than an hour.

To prevent the HVAC unit from turning on while changing the filter, make sure to set the thermostat to the “off” position. While you need to know how to change an air filter yourself, professional HVAC maintenance is still a good idea even when you're keeping up with regular air filter changes.