Replacing Your Furnace Filter: Understanding the Basics

Have you had “check the furnace filter” on your to-do-list for weeks or even months? While it can be an irritating chore, it is one that will be worth your time and money in the long run.


Changing the air filter in your furnace is normally a simple and inexpensive task that is critical to protecting the operation of your HVAC system between regular tune-up appointments. Most importantly, it is a large contributor to the overall air quality in your home. A blocked air filter could create a variety of airflow and comfort issues including increased energy consumption (higher heating bills), substandard heating through your home, office, or commercial building; unhealthy air quality in your living spaces and even the overall failure of your heating system. A clean filter will keep dust and dirt from building up in the system. Avoiding expensive maintenance and untimely component/system failure.


The answer to “of how often you should change your air filter” depends on a number of aspects. The type of filter your system requires, the number of people living in your home, the presence of indoor pets and whether there is construction or other external influencers near your home/office contributing to your indoor air quality should be taken into consideration.

As a general rule, Service Experts’ NATE-certified service technicians recommend checking your filter monthly, especially during the winter season. If the filter appears dirty, you should replace it. Additionally, if you have pets in your home, look at changing your filter more often as a result of pet dander. And if you have someone in the home that suffers from allergies or asthma, replacing your air filter more often will help to ease those symptoms. At a minimum, you should change the filter every three months.



Changing out your air filter is a fairly simple job that many homeowners choose to handle on their own. In many cases, the difficulty comes in realizing the importance of the task and making it a priority.

Here are general guidelines to use when you discover a dirty air filter that needs to be replaced:

Determine what size air filter is the proper fit for your unit and purchase the filter (available at home stores, hardware stores and local HVAC contractors).
Turn your system off by turning off the breaker or power to the system.
Open or remove the air filter panel close to the bottom of your unit to reveal an open compartment.
On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your filter resting on two metal supports.
There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to remove one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
When installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.

Air filter replacement is included with regular tune-ups or our Maintenance services. Mark this task off of your to-do-list today by calling the Professionals at 919-414-3459 or contact us online here!

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