Brought to you by the professionals at Southport Home Services

Are you a new homeowner? Has your property management always changed your furnace filter, but has stopped? Or are you just simply a do-it-yourselfer? If you have no clue how to change out the filter in your furnace, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we at Southport Home Services will take you step by step in how to replace your furnace filter.

A quick overview of the process:

  1. Choose a Filter
  2. Power Off Your Furnace
  3. Locate Your Filter
  4. Remove Old Filter and Replace With the New Filter
  5. Unit Start-up

Having trouble with Step One? Before reading on check out our Filter Reference Guide quick! How often should I replace my filter? You are reading the wrong article! Check out our blog post on When to Replace My Furnace Filter. Otherwise, read further for an in-depth explanation of how to properly install your furnace filter.

Step One: Choose a Filter

The first step in changing your furnace filter, is finding the correct one. Putting the wrong filter in your furnace can cause numerous problems for you and your furnace. If you have the wrong size, there may be ways for dust, hair, dirt, and bacteria to get past your filter. This can shorten the life of your furnace/coil and will pump dirty air into your home. Another consequence of installing the wrong filter is air flow. If you buy a filter that restricts the air flowing through it at a different rate the furnace is designed for, it can cause the furnace to actually shut itself of. So, to ensure that you purchase the right filter for your furnace, please refer to our Filter Reference Guide.

Step Two: Power Off Your Furnace

This step is a simple one that can promote longevity of your filter and your furnace. If the furnace was to be left on while you changed the filter, as mentioned in the above paragraph, there would be any amounts of dirt, hair, dust, bacteria, etc. flowing through the furnace. If the conditions are right, this can lead to bacterial growth inside the inner workings of your furnace. This can also lead to the build-up of dirt and dust that can prevent your furnace from running as efficiently as it should. Turning off the furnace can also prevent your filter from ripping upon installation. With a thinner filter, pushing it directly into the already flowing air can weaken the filter in a way that may compromise the way it functions. Finally, it is in reality a great deal easier for you to install this way as well. Turning of the furnace means there is no airflow to fight in order to pull out the old filter and install the new one. Without the airflow, the filter will slide right out and slide back in fairly easy. This leads us into our third step.

Step Three: Locate the Filter

If you have not done so already, locate where you will be installing your new furnace filter. Most furnaces will have a slot for the filter where the cold air return meets the furnace. Simply look for a large rectangular duct that meets the base of the furnace, this will most likely be where the filter is located. There should be a small slot with a cover that slides of to reveal the filter. In some cases, if you have an air purifier, there will be a plastic unit in-between the cold air intake and the furnace. Simply pull open the unit from the front to reveal your filter.

Step Four: Remove and Replace

Step four seems to be pretty much a self-explanatory step. For the most part, it is quite self-explanatory, but there is one important bit of information to remember. In the process of sliding your old filter out and the new one in, make sure to face the new filter the right way. There will be an arrow pointing one direction with the words “Air Flow” on the side of the filter. You will want to be sure to face the filter so the arrow on the side is pointing in the direction the air will be flowing. The air flows from inside that rectangular return duct into the furnace, so the arrow should be pointing towards the furnace.

Step Five: Unit Startup

To finish up, simply replace any doors you removed in the process and start the unit back up!

There you have it! Replacing a filter for your central air system is a quick and simple process that can save you time and money in the future. If there are any problems installing your filter or simply just do not want to do it, give us a call over here at Southport Home Services. We will be able to set you up with a professional installation and we carry an abundance of filter sizes.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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