A man removes a dirty air filter from an HVAC system

Updated 8/11/21

Change Your Air Filter Regularly for Effective Climate Control

Air filters are an essential part of your heating and cooling system. They help improve your home’s air quality and encourage peak efficiency. The most common filters are disposable, such as a flat or pleated filter sold at hardware stores. But more advanced filtration systems are also available. These include HEPA filters and air purifiers.

No matter the filter you choose, regularly changing it is critical for keeping your furnace and air conditioner in good shape. In fact, it can even improve indoor air quality, an important part of your sense of comfort. But how and when you need to change the filter can be confusing. That’s why the professionals at A-1 United Heating, Air and Electrical created this helpful guide.

How to Change Your Air Filter

Replacing disposable air filters is fast and easy, with just five steps:

1. Shut Off Your System

Switch your thermostat to “off” as well as your furnace’s power switch. It usually resembles a normal light switch and can be found on or near your furnace.

2. Locate Your Air Filter

Not sure where to find the air filter in your home? They’re most often placed in your system’s return air vent, which might be on the ceiling, wall or the side of your furnace. Your air filter may also be housed inside the unit itself. If this is the case, you may have to remove an access panel to reach the filter.

3. Remove the Filter from Its Housing

Open the return and pop out the old filter. When removing an old filter, check its size so you can verify you have the correct replacement filter. Not sure what air filter sizes are compatible with your system? Check your owner’s manual or give A-1 United a call at 402-593-7500.

4. Install the New Filter

Slide the new filter securely in place of the old one, making sure you follow the arrows printed on the sides of the filter frame. These arrows illustrate the direction of your home’s airflow, which should be toward your furnace.

5. Turn Your System Back On

Once the new filter is in place, flip your furnace’s switch back to the “on” position and do the same for your thermostat. Keep in mind it may take several minutes for your system to fully turn back on.

When to Change Your Air Filter

The frequency depends on what type of filter you prefer as well as the size of your home. Flat filters should be changed every month since they only provide minimal filtration for your system and indoor air. Pleated filters are a little stronger and can be changed every three months. If you’re not sure of the right time to change out your filter, remove it from your furnace and hold it up to the light. If light won’t shine through, it’s time to replace it!

You might need to change your filter more frequently if:

  • Someone in your home has allergies or asthma
  • You have pets
  • Your home is especially dusty

Wait too long to change air conditioner filters and they can get clogged with dust and other debris. This can cause system overheating and short cycling. When this happens, your furnace or air conditioner will rapidly turn on and off as it attempts to reach your desired temperature. This puts heavy strain on your HVAC system, and could cause it to break down prematurely.

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality with A-1 United

Have any questions about where your air filter goes or how to install a new one? A-1 United can help. If you have already replaced your filter and your HVAC equipment is still making excess noise, contact us to address the problem.

And if you have a family member with allergies, or just want fresher air at home, our experts can help with that as well. We offer advanced air filtration systems like high-performance air cleaners. They remove small, allergy-aggravating particles that standard filters struggle to stop.

As your Omaha Lennox® Premier Dealer™, we’re committed to helping you find the right solution for your needs. Give us a call at 402-593-7500 today to get started!