What You Need To Know About Replacing A Furnace Filter

Looking for ways to improve your home's air quality? This may be a big concern to you if people in your household have allergies, especially to mold.  A clean furnace filter not only helps with cleaning all the air flowing through your home's air ducts but will also help keep the motor in the furnace clean and run efficiently.  It is not enough to just change a filter since some mistakes can be made along the way.

Filter Locating

The location of the filter and surrounding components depends on what safety precautions you should take.  Filters located outside the main cabinet do not require much preparation at all since you can easily pull the filter out without needing special tools or shutting down the unit.

Filters located inside the cabinet require more precautions.  Be prepared to shut off any gas or electricity running to the furnace before you get to work.  

Filter Track Cleaning

With the filter removed from the furnace, look at the areas surrounding the filter that could be cleaned.  One place you should pay attention to is the track the filter slides on as it goes in and out of the furnace.  Chances are that there is dust that is trapped within those tracks that can end up right back in the filter when you replace it.  In addition, a filter that is not seated within the tracks properly due to dust could create a way for air to bypass the filter

You'll also want to ensure that the new air filter that you buy is the correct size.  Air filters can have slight variations to them that make them close their size, but not exact.  Buying an incorrect filter will create those small gaps that allow air and dust to pass through.  Always check that you are purchasing the right model of air filter, and feel free to take the old one to your local home improvement store to match it up with a brand new one.

Filter Replacing

When swapping out the old filter with the new one, you should try to push the filter as far back as it can go so it's flush. You may even want to clean the inside compartment with your vacuum to ensure that no dust is in there.  Check that the area is clean with a flashlight and you'll be good to go.

Notice any problems with replacing the air filter? Contact a local HVAC maintenance professional for assistance.