air filters hvac systems

Changing Your Air Filters: Can You Do It Yourself?

Jim Morris
Updated on

There are many chores that you need to perform in your home, and changing your air filters is one of them. If you don’t change your air filters inside of your HVAC system regularly, then you might find that it isn’t working as efficiently as it could be. Some people believe that changing air filters is expensive and needs to be done by an expert, but this is not the case at all.

In fact, it is entirely possible to change the air filters in your HVAC system by yourself, as long as you have the right tools and knowledge. Below, we are going to offer some tips to help you get this project completed with little hassle.

Get Your Tools

Before you even think about changing your air filters yourself, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. This will include a screwdriver, as well as the new air filter that you can replace the old one with. It is important that you have the right size of air filter, otherwise, you could find that dust or debris go around it. This could cause your HVAC system to run at an inefficient level. You might also damage your unit if you try to jam the wrong size filter into it. If you aren’t sure which size your HVAC system requires, check the dimensions on your old filter.

You can find a huge variety of filter sizes online, including 16 x 25 x 1 which is a common size. We recommend buying these in bulk so that you can make changing your own filters easier next time as you’ll always have a supply.

Shut It Off

If you are planning on changing your air filters by yourself, you should first make sure that you have turned your system off. The last thing that you want is for your system to break when you are trying to change your filters as this could cost you a lot of money that you hadn’t budgeted for. Once you have turned it off, the next step is to remove the access panels. This is usually fairly easy, but if you’re not sure how to do it then check your manual to avoid breaking anything.

Remove The Old Filter

Once you have gained access to the filter by removing the access panel, you should be able to easily remove your old filter. It is important that you dispose of this correctly so as to avoid spreading dirt and grime around your home. Put the old air filter in a refuse bag immediately to keep the dirt contained. Some air filters can be recycled, so make sure to consider this before you put it in the trash can. Check with your supplier what you should do when disposing of your air filter. This way, you can be sure that it will go to the right place.

Change The Filter

The next step involves inserting your new HVAC filter in your system. Make sure that you pay attention to the arrows that come on the sides of the filters. These indicate which way the air is flowing so you need to make sure that the arrow is pointing the same direction as to where the ductwork is bringing in air. If you can’t figure this out, it might be best to ask for a second opinion so that you don’t install your filter incorrectly.

Turn It Back On

Once you are confident that your air filter has been installed correctly, you will want to make sure that you close the access panels back up. This way, you can keep the air filters working as effectively as possible. At this point, you can also turn your HVAC system back on. Listen out for any unusual noises as this could indicate something has gone wrong. Over time, you’ll begin to recognize the noise that your HVAC system makes and will know when you’ve installed your new air filters correctly.

Can You Do It Yourself?

As you can see, changing your air filters is actually much easier than it sounds. As long as you have a fresh supply of air filters ready to use, you should find that this is a job that can be completed in just a few minutes. If you have never changed your filters before, you might want to read your manual to make sure that you do everything correctly. Not all systems are the same. Some might have a latch to open or a specific size of filter that is required. The more you know about your system, the easier it will be to do it yourself.

Jim Morris

About the author

Jim Morris

Jim Morris loves to travel and visit a lot of architecture sites worldwide. He shares lots of information and is always looking forward to the next article on interior design, architecture and landscaping.