Clean or replace air filters
Heating and cooling consume the most energy in the average home—up to 50% of total home energy use. Dirty air filters make your furnace, central air conditioner, or room air conditioner work harder to circulate air. By cleaning or replacing your filters, you can lower your heating and cooling system energy use by up to 15%.
Step by step:
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 every one to three months.
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 maintenance about once a year.
Added benefits: Replacing filters improves indoor air quality, which can help those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
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.