Check your air filters every month
Heating and cooling account for up to 60% of the average home's energy use. Dirty air filters make your furnace, heat pump, heat recovery ventilator (HRV), or air conditioner work harder to circulate air. By cleaning or replacing your filters monthly, you can improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
Checking and replacing your filter should take about 15 minutes.
- Take it out. On some heating and cooling systems, the filter is exposed and will slide right out. On other systems, the filter is behind an easy-to-remove panel on the front of the unit.
- Look at it. Hold the filter up to the light to see if it is clogged.
- Replace or clean. If a disposable filter is clogged, replace it, regardless of its age. If a permanent filter is dirty, clean it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Repeat. Repeat once a month in the season the unit is used.
Good to know: When checking the filter, do-it-yourself experts can clean the blower and motor housing. If you prefer, hire a professional to clean and provide other furnace and ductwork maintenance about once a year.
Added benefits: Replacing filters also improves indoor air quality, easing symptoms of asthma and other health risks.
For renters: If you rent your home, ask your building management who is responsible for filter checking and replacement to be certain that filters are changed on a regular basis.