Home > Uncategorized > Replace Your Furnace Filter

Replace Your Furnace Filter

If you have a disposable furnace filter, it should be changed approximately every other month. Detailed instructions are listed below:

When you install your filter, always be sure to point the direction arrow toward the blower / fan chamber.

As a general rule, it is best to use an inexpensive, pleated filter during both heating and cooling seasons.  The reason for this is that higher quality filters clog quickly, which results in restricted air flow.  This can cause the air-conditioner coils to freeze up – when in the cooling mode, and it can cause the furnace to overheat – when in the heating mode.

Low quality / fiberglass filters should not be used because they allow too many particles to pass through, which will accumulate on the blower fins.  This will shorten the lifespan of your blower.

low quality filter

Costs for pleated filters vary by quality. I suggest using the lower priced filters (approximately $3 per filter), unless you have an allergy / respiratory issue.

Some filters, such as the one below, are advertised as “allergen filters” and these tend to be more expensive ($5 – $12 each). These are also much more air restrictive, which can actually cause problems with your heating / cooling system. Therefore, it is advised to stay away from filters like these unless you need them for health reasons.

MonthlyMaint Pleated Filter

Other Types of Filters

Wide Filters: Some systems use wider filters, such as this 4″ filter. These filters require less frequent changes (every 3 – 6 months), but they also cost much more. If you have a filter like this, see the label for replacement instructions.

Electronic Filters: If you have an electronic air filter, the cells and pre-filters must be cleaned periodically. There are different methods for doing this and some of these methods are listed below (see your owners manual for specific instructions).

How do I clean my Electronic Air Cleaner?

First turn off the power to the Electronic Air Cleaner (circled in red). Wait 30 seconds, then remove the access door. Pull out the cells and pre-filters. Then replace the access door while cleaning.


Method #1 – Using the dishwasher:

Honeywell recommends consulting the manufacturer of your dishwasher before you attempt to wash the electronic cells.

  • The only recommended washing methods for Electronic Air Cleaner cells are with soaps that are safe for use on aluminum, such as automatic dishwasher detergents.
  • Do not use Coil Cleaners or Contact Cleaners.
  • When placing the cells in a dishwasher, set four glasses upside-down to rest the cells on top of. This will protect the cells from the dishwasher spikes that may break ionizing wires, and bend collector plates.
  • You can place the pre-filters in the dishwasher as well.
  • Never allow the cells to go through the drying cycle. This will “bake on” any materials that were not removed during the wash cycle.
  • Be careful when removing cells after washing. The cells may be hot, and sharp edges may cause cuts.
  • After washing the cells, take a clean cloth and gently wipe down the ionizing wires.
  • Establish a regular schedule for washing your cells

Method #2 – Using a tub:

You may also use a tub with hot water to wash your electronic cells.

  • Dissolve approximately 3/4 of a cup of automatic dishwasher detergent per cell in a large plastic tub.
  • Let soak for 15-20 minutes.
  • Agitate up and down few times then remove.

Click here to see demo: [29k]

Note: Be sure to use a dishwasher detergent with sodium silicates which will protect the aluminum cells

You can always set the cells and filters outside and wash them off with a garden hose. Use good pressure but be careful not to bend the collector plates. If they are very dirty, you can spray them with any household detergent and let soak for a minute. Then spray off.

After Cleaning:

Let the cells and filters air-dry. Try not to re-install until they are completely dry. Make sure the collector plates didn’t bend during the cleaning process. Then re-insert pre-filters and cells into the unit, close cover and turn on power supply.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

    This is the one thing that I am not familiar with yet. Having been in the home I have grown up with and have now taken control of it, I need to make sure that everything is in tip top shape. I will look at the filters needed for my furnace and purchase in bulk. I am hoping I am catching everything in time, or else my heater will need to be repaired. Thank you for the information provided here!

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