Replacing the filter in your furnace ensures that your home’s air remains free of contaminants, including dust and pet dander. A dirty filter will only trap new particles if you replace it. Learning how to change a furnace filter is easy, and anyone can do it. 

A clogged filter won’t prevent additional dirt and debris from entering your home when you don’t replace it. As a result, you and your family will breathe in more dust, pet dander, and other particles daily. 

Moreover, a dirty filter causes the motor in your heating and cooling system to work harder, making it less efficient over time. Absolute Climate Control, your local heat installation team, has a few recommendations regarding how often you should change your furnace filter. 

What Does a Furnace Filter Do?

A furnace filter’s primary job is to trap airborne contaminants to keep them out of your heating and cooling system. And a clean HVAC system results in better indoor air quality, better health, and increased home comfort!

How to Change a Furnace Filter

Every homeowner should know how to change a furnace filter. Here’s how you do it in a few easy steps:

  1. Disconnect the power to your furnace. 
  2. Use your operational manual to help you locate your furnace filter. If you don’t have your manual, you can find your filter in the blower compartment or the metal ductwork before the blower fan. Your HVAC system may have a reusable filler that you can clean in the sink. Others use fiberglass filters or other disposable filters that you can’t reuse.
  3. If your filter isn’t reusable, check to see if your manual provides information about your filter size. If it doesn’t, search the cardboard corners of your existing filter to find them. If you can’t locate this information, use a measuring tape or a ruler to measure the dimensions of your filter.
  4. Write down the dimensions of your furnace filter to take to the home improvement store. This way, you’ll have the information to buy the correct filter. Also, write the information on the furnace housing or ductwork to make your next filter change easier. 
  5. The final step for how to change a furnace filter is — you got it — to change it. Before you remove your existing filter, note the arrow on the filter frame that shows the correct direction of airflow. You’ll want to install the new filter in the same direction as the old one. Pull the old filter out and put it into a garbage bag to avoid spreading dust. Then, insert the new filter.
  6. Restore power to the furnace, and you’re good to go!

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Knowing exactly when to replace your furnace filter can vary from one home to another. The question of how often you should change your furnace filter depends on the types of filters you use. Factors like the size and efficiency of the filter also influence the timeframe. 


There are many different types of air filters to choose from at your local home improvement store. As a result, the recommended time for changing your furnace filter can range from each month to once a year. 

Fortunately, the air filter’s manufacturer recommends how often you should change your filter in the product information. So take note of this information when you purchase your filter, so you’ll know when to replace it.


The question of how often you should change your furnace filter relates to the size of the filter. Thicker filters have more media available to catch contaminants, so you have to change a 1-inch filter more frequently than a 5-inch filter. 


Filter efficiency also impacts how often you should change it. For example, the minimum efficiency reporting valve, or MERV, scores an air filter’s ability to capture particulate matter between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). 

In general, this is how often you should change your furnace filter:

Absolute Climate Control Is Here to Help

We’re your team of HVAC experts for furnace installation in Greenville, SC, and the surrounding areas. Our skilled professionals are here to help you with any heating and air conditioning questions. 
Whether you want professional air conditioner maintenance or heating repair, our certified technicians can handle any job. Schedule an appointment to learn more about the range of services we provide.

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