How to Change a Furnace Filter

As temperatures begin to drop, many residents in Vancouver are turning their heating systems on for the first time this year. And, if you’re like most homeowners, you probably give very little thought to your furnace after that.

But to keep it working in top condition — and avoid possible malfunction — you need to change or clean your furnace filter on a regular basis. However, many homeowners in Vancouver don't know where to locate their furnace filter in order to change it. So, finding it should be your first step.

Where to find your furnace filter

Try turning your furnace fan on and then follow the noise on your furnace. The filter should be located somewhere upstream of the fan. Look for your filter:

  • Behind panels
  • Inside duct openings
  • In the blower compartment
  • In an attached filter case
  • In a wall-mounted return air grille

Once you have found your filter, you’re in business. Just make sure you turn off the furnace before changing the filter. Otherwise dirt, dust and debris can get sucked up and deposited into the air system.

How to change your furnace filter

If you recently installed a new furnace, you should have several replacement filters located somewhere on or near your furnace. If not, there is usually a part number or filter size displayed prominently on the existing filter to help you identify which type to purchase.

As with many basements in Vancouver, there is likely a lot of hair and dust accumulated around your furnace and filter opening. Vacuum around the outside of the furnace and inside the filter opening before proceeding. Then:

  • Open the filter compartment door
  • Slide the old filter out and dispose of it
  • Look for the air flow arrows on your new filter. It shows you which direction the filter should be inserted.
  • If you have a permanent filter, vacuum it off before rinsing it thoroughly with water. Let it dry completely before putting it back into your furnace.
  • Turn your furnace back on

When to and why change your furnace filter

You should change basic, fiberglass or paper furnace filters about once every two months. Electrostatic or HEPA filters should be replaced every two to four months. Your furnace filter is designed to protect your heating and cooling equipment, as well as keep the air inside your home clean. Filters capture both large and microscopic allergens, including:

  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mite debris
  • Smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Household dust
  • Smog

If you’re not comfortable changing the furnace filter yourself, call Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating for assistance. Whether you need plumbers or heating specialists, we are your number one HVAC choice in Vancouver. For all furnace maintenance or furnace repair needs, contact us today!

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