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VIDEO: You Can Change a Furnace Filter

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It's time to clear the air. Regularly replacing your heating and cooling system filter is one of the easiest ways to make your home more comfortable and efficient.

Your heating and cooling system moves a lot of air through your home. The filter helps reduce contaminants in that air, which protects your equipment and your health. 

A clogged filter makes the system work harder, wasting energy and shortening equipment life. Plus, a clogged filter won't clear the air as well. Filters should be changed monthly if you have family members with allergies, or if you have pets. Otherwise, replace them every three months when running the system. 

There are three basic types of filters:

  1. Mesh filters will help protect your heating and cooling system, but won't do much for indoor air quality.
  2. Pleated filters cost more, but filter out more contaminants.
  3. Washable filters aren't recommended because they need regular maintenance and can harbor mold and mildew.

The MERV rating is the industry standard rating scale for filters. Residential filters typically have a rating of between 4 and 12, with higher numbers filtering out more and smaller particles. Electrostatic filters can trap even more particles using static electricity. 

Make sure to get the right size filter. In this case, we've got a 16 x 25 x 4 inch pleated electrostatic filter with a MERV rating of 12. 

Installation is simple. Open the door and remove the old filter. Slide the new filter into place, making sure the arrow direction on the filter matches the arrow direction on the furnace housing. Close and latch the filter door and you're good to go. 

Changing your filter regularly isn't just good for your health, it also saves energy and wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment. That all goes a long way toward making your home more comfortable and efficient. For more energy saving tips visit

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