Replace AC Filters

Regularly replacing air filters is an inexpensive way to keep your heating and cooling systems in top shape and ensure healthy home air quality.  It also can save from 5% - 15% on air conditioning costs.

Easy
Households: 1 completed, 0 committed
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Points ?
$0
Annual Savings
$2 - $15
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save up to 15% on AC energy bills
  • Maintain healthy air quality in your home
  • Improve performance and longevity of your HVAC system or AC unit
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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Overview

The Action
We will replace our Air Conditioning and Heating filters regularly. (Energy savings is only for AC filters. Replacing heating filters is recommended, but there are no points for heating filter replacement.)
Is this action for me?
If you have a heating or AC system dedicated to your home (not shared with other units) you can do this action.  If you rent, your landlord should be doing this action as regular maintenance for your home.
When and Who?
This action can be done any time and by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - just a few minutes to buy and swap out your filters.
What is the cost?
Around $2-15 per filter.

Benefits

  • Save up to 15% on AC energy bills

  • Maintain healthy air quality in your home

  • Improve performance and longevity of your HVAC system or AC unit

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Programs

The FilterEasy marketplace delivers your air filters to you when it's time to change them.

The Basics

The cheapest and easiest basic maintenance you can perform for your heating and cooling system is to routinely replace your air filters. Clean air filters keep your system energy efficient, extend the life of your equipment, and protect your home air quality and your family’s health.

Checklist

Find your air filters
Check your air filters regularly
Replace your air filter

Why change your filters?

As dirt and dust builds up and clogs your heating and air conditioner filters, air flow decreases significantly and makes your equipment work harder to keep your home comfortable.  This wastes energy and increases your bill.  Dirty, clogged filters can cause your system to overheat, leading to costly repairs or even replacement.  Dirty filters also harm air quality and impact your family’s health, especially if they have asthma or other respiratory problems.  Replacing the filters in your air conditioning system saves money and can reduce your air conditioning bill by 5% to 15%.  Replacing heating air filters does not create the same energy savings, but does have the repair and health benefits and is recommended as well.  

Find your air filter

Different air conditioning systems have different locations for filters.  If you have a central AC system, the filter may be behind the main vent that lets cool air into the house.  It might also be located in a slot in your furnace.  For window AC units it is usually directly behind where the cool air comes out.  For your heater, it might be inside the furnace or inside the return air vent.  Before removing and replacing your filter, make sure to turn your unit off so no air is flowing while you try to replace it.

Check air filters regularly

Manufacturers recommend you check your air filters monthly, particularly during winter and summer months when your heating and cooling systems get the most use.  In some areas people find that they need replacement less often.  How often you need to change your filters will depend on a number of things including what type of air filter you have, the air quality in your house, how many people are in the home and if you are in an area of high pollution or construction.  For example, households with pets or lots of dust will require changing air filters more often.  Start off checking monthly until you can see what your filter needs will be and then check as needed.

Replace your filter

Replacing a filter is easy.  For a window or central air conditioning system you will need to remove a cover to access the filter.  For a furnace it’s as simple as pulling out the old filter and sliding the new one into its slot.  Filters are inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware store.  They come in different sizes and performance ratings that indicate the level of filtration they provide.  Higher performance filters cost a bit more, but can capture things like mold, bacteria and smog, so they are worth considering the extra investment.  

Plastic framed filters can be dusted or vacuumed, washed with water, dried, and reused, but most people prefer the cardboard-framed disposable variety because handling clogged filters will expose you to dust, hair and other particulate matter that can cause respiratory problems.  To find out what type of filter your system uses and where the filter is located, check your owner’s manual or look on your current filter.  If you can’t find your owner’s manual you can probably find it online by searching with the make and model number of your heating or AC unit.  If you are unsure how to replace your air filter, check out the How to Change Your Furnace Filter and How to Change Your AC Filter guides or ask your HVAC contractor to show you.