Furnace Air Filter – How to Change It Properly

Hi there. My name is Nils with
LRN2DIY. And in this video, I'll be showing you how to
swap out your HVAC furnace, air filter quickly and easily. Now, the first thing we need to do is to
make sure to turn off our unit and most modern units have a switch like this. And all you have to do is flip
that off and you're good to go. You want to make sure to do that
before you change out the filter, so you don't get any loose debris
or anything from the filter, shaking out and going
into the system. Now, if you don't have a switch like this, you can also use your thermostat
and set it to off mode or automatic. And then if that fails, for any reason, you can also just flip the
circuit breaker on your unit. Now with the HVAC system turned off, we're now ready to locate the filter
itself. If you know right where that is, then you're in good shape. If you're not sure it's pretty much
always going to be in between this big return plenum here and your
blower or your main unit here.

And in some rare cases that might actually
be behind one of the air returns in your home. Like you see
in this picture here, in some cases you actually unlatch the
return and the filter is right there behind it. Once we've determined
the location of our filter, next, we need to figure out which way to put
it in. Now, if we pull this guy out, now, this is one of these really cheap ones. And we'll talk about which one
to choose in just a moment. But in here we have this little
airflow arrow here and we need to really make sure that you
get this in the right direction. Now the right direction is pretty much
always just pointing towards the furnace itself, the blower so that
your air is coming in this way, it's coming through the filter and
then going into the furnace here. And so that's what you need to make
sure the arrow is pointing toward. And another way you can see on the actual
filter itself is they'll all have some sort of netting like this on the backside.

This should also be facing
your furnace like so, and that's to help prevent it from being
sucked in or collapsing in case this gets really full of debris
and basically just clogged. Now a really quick tip on this to save
yourself from having to even think about this in the future, you can take a Sharpie and just on
your air return your platinum here, you can just put an arrow
indicating that the airflow, the arrow needs to go that direction. And you can just line up your
filters with that from then on. Now, as far as choosing which filter to use,
there are a lot of factors involved, but most technicians will recommend
that you choose something that's on the middle to low end.

Basically, you've
got these different ratings. There's, what's called a MERV
rating and an FPR rating. You don't need to get too far
into the details with this, but basically the higher,
the number on this, whether it's the MERV or the FPR
rating, the more it will filter out, but on the downside of that, the less
air flow it's going to allow through. And so if you do something like these
green ones that I've got in mine at the moment, this is one of
the lowest rated ones. It's also one of the least expensive
ones and needs to be replaced pretty regularly. The nice thing is
it lets the most air through. So as long as you're replacing
it quite often, in my case, every three to four weeks, then
it's going to do a good job.

Now, if you've got someone in your home, who's
sensitive to allergies or allergens, pollens, a pet dander or different things like
it might help to get something that's a little on the higher end here. And
another tip for that is buy these in bulk. Don't go buy one at a time. I'll put some links in the description
below where you can go purchase these from Amazon and you can get four of
them or eight of them or 10 of them at a time.

And it saves you a lot of money
and a lot of time doing it that way. Now on the topic of how
often to replace these, you'll notice most of them say that
these provide up to 90 day airflow performance. And the key phrase in there is "up to"
a lot of these are actually meant to be replaced sooner than that.


And really you just want to check on
them from time to time and you'll kind of get into a rhythm of seeing how often
you should be replacing those in your house. It depends on things
like pets that you have, how often this thing is running, whether
it's air conditioning or heating, as well as the surrounding environment. Like if there's new construction
or different things like that. Now, a couple of tips on that, these less expensive ones that are
more on the rating of let's say four, like this, they won't
typically last 90 days.

A lot of them are really just meant, especially these ones that are just the
fiberglass they're really meant for 30 days or up to 30 days of use. So get in the habit of changing
them on the first of the month. And in some cases you might need
to do it even more than that. Now, if you find yourself in a
situation where in the winter, your house just won't heat up enough, it feels like there's just not enough
hot air to keep up or in the summer. It won't cool down enough. Oftentimes that's because there's just
not enough air flow coming through these filters. So in those cases, it's sometimes helpful to use one of
these less expensive fiberglass filters, which lets a lot of the air flow through
and that will help provide enough air for your unit to do its job properly. And you might want to go back to whatever
kind of mid grade one that you were using prior after that. But it will help you get through those
tough situations when it's just really hot out or really cold out.

It's imperative that you have
the right size for your filter, because if it's too small, then
it will let air go around it, which is unfiltered, which can
let debris into your system. Once you've determined that size, it might be helpful to just
write that on the plenum. That way when you go to shop for more, you can just check without
having to pull the filter out. Now that we know our airflow direction
and everything else that we need, we'll take out the old, the one here and then I'm going to
open up one of these FPR sevens. We'll put this in. Okay,
there's our airflow there… and one thing that I also like to do is
just to write the date that you replaced this. It just makes it
a little bit easier. So if you're unsure
how long it's been now, this last piece is totally optional, but I didn't know this was
a thing until just recently.

You can actually buy whole home air
fresheners that go onto your filter itself. And they're
pretty simple. Basically. You've got a little adhesive air
freshener here and it sticks on one side. You can hook it on just to make sure
it stays on well and then just kind of press that guy on here
and then slide it in. And then we are all complete
again. Totally optional. But I thought let's just try
it out. Might be kind of nice. So once that's in there, our last step is just to make
sure the power is turned back on. I'll flip that back on
and then we're good to go. I like to leave my filters
right here next to the furnace, just so I always know where they
are and that's all there is to it.

So if you have any questions or anything, please leave those in the comments
below and thanks for watching..

As found on YouTube

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