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Guide to Proper Air Filter Maintenance

Hey, homeowners! You don’t have to be an HVAC professional to help maintain the overall health of your central heating and air conditioning system and keep your indoor air quality up to par. All you have to do is work a simple checklist into your regular to-dos about the house.

Air Filter Maintenance Checklist

  1. Check your air filters monthly. Air filters should be checked monthly and depending on the type of filter, they should be either replaced or cleaned as they get dirty.
  2. Replace disposable filters if they’re dirty. Don’t attempt to clean them. (Some high-efficiency filters can go up to three months before needing to be replaced, but it’s good to keep up a monthly habit of checking.)
  3. Clean non-cardboard filters. Make sure the thermostat is in the OFF position before removing your permanent air filter. Using a garden hose with a lot of water pressure (though not enough to damage the filter), spray the filter from both sides for as long as necessary until the water runs clear. Shake off the excess water and let the filter air dry before reinstalling, making sure to slide the filter into place with the proper airflow direction. Return thermostat to ON position. Over time, you’ll notice how long it takes for the filter to accumulate enough dust and dirt to be cleaned.

Where Are the Air Filters Located and Are There More Than One?

Large systems will generally have multiple air filters that may even come in different sizes. It will be important to consult an HVAC technician, your user manual, or the internet to find out where the filters are located on your system and how to remove them. This might be the most labor intensive step for you, but you’ll only have to do it once.

As you remove or install the filters, notice that the air is meant to flow through the filter in only one direction. If there are no arrows on the filter indicating airflow, the rougher side of the filter will be the one that faces outward to collect dust.


Still have questions about your air filters? Contact us to learn more about how you can keep your HVAC systems operational and efficient.

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