Air Filter Maintenance

Anything that restricts the movement of air will place additional stress on your furnace and air conditioner.

DIY Air Filter Maintenance

Your home’s HVAC system’s primary purpose is to move air; whether it be hot or cold, depending on the season. Anything that restricts or alters the movement of air, will place additional stress on the system, making it work less efficiently and therefore it won’t provide the comfort desired. A dirty filter can cause your furnace to overheat and shut down; similarly, a dirty filter can cause an air conditioner to shut down when inadequate airflow causes the coils to freeze up.

Key Considerations

  • Mark a date on your calendar to check your filter monthly.
    Once a filter has significant debris on it (while holding it up to the light, you can no longer clearly see light), it is time to clean or replace it according to specifications. Unless your system requires a special type of filter, an inexpensive poly or fiberglass filter is adequate.

  • Check the manual before upgrading your filter.
    If you want to install a more expensive, high-efficiency filter, check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations. High-efficiency filters can restrict the airflow, strain the blower motor, and make your furnace less efficient. If you want cleaner air, the best option is a separate air-cleaning system. Oak View Mechanical has several air-cleaner options to choose from.

  • Where is your filter?
    Most new homes have a filter box near the furnace. Simply release the levers, open the door, and replace the filter. Older homes may have the filter inside the furnace. This will require that you open the front of the furnace to replace the filter. The front of the furnace may have a simple release mechanism or require that you remove the screws holding the door onto the furnace.

    Make sure that the furnace is turned off when opening the furnace door. Other homes may have filters on each return air duct. For these, release the grille lever, then remove and replace the filter.

  • Is your filter pointed in the right direction?
    Make sure you reinstall the furnace filter correctly, with the arrow on the filter edge pointing toward the furnace. Putting it in backwards decreases the filter’s efficiency.

While these maintenance procedures outlined within are manageable by homeowners, we recommend that they be performed by licensed HVAC contractors, who also run diagnostic tests to ensure that the system is operating optimally.

Need Further Assistance?

Need a little more guidance from a professional? Our licensed technicians are ready to help.