August Home Maintenance To-Do List

By: Danny Lipford
Edge of air filter with arrow.

The arrows on an air filter indicate the direction of air flow.

To-Do #1: Replace Air Conditioner Filter

The air filter on your heating and cooling system needs to be replaced every 1-3 months to keep the air in your home clean and flowing freely through the unit. For best results use a high quality air filter that’s rated to remove mold, pollen, and other microscopic particles.

The air filter is located where the air returns to your heating/cooling unit. In some systems, the filter is in or near the air handler unit, while on others it’s behind the wall or floor return grate.

To replace the air filter:

  1. Turn the air conditioner off, and wait until it stops running.
  2. Take the cover off the air return.
  3. Remove the old air filter.
  4. Write the current date on the new air filter.
  5. Insert the new air filter in the return, making sure the arrow on the edge of the filter is facing in the direction of air flow. For filters with wall and floor mounted returns, the arrow should point in toward the return duct. For filters mounted in the ductwork near the air handler, the arrow should point toward the air conditioner unit.
  6. Put the cover back on the air return.
  7. Turn the air conditioner back on.

To make it easier to replace the filter next time, put a sticker on the cover with exactly what size filter you need to buy and when to replace it.

Check out our video on Changing the Air Filter in Your Home to find out more.

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8 Comments on “August Home Maintenance To-Do List”

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  • Ann Says:
    August 2nd, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Pressure washed the outside of my air conditioner. Now some of the out side is closed up . How do I open up the grill on it.


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 2nd, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    G. Brown,
    To respond to a post, leave a comment by filling out the comment boxes below each post like you just did. You can also click on the “Contact” tab or go to http://www.todayshomeowner.com/contact/ask/ and send us an email.



  • G. Brown Says:
    August 2nd, 2015 at 11:51 am

    How can one respond to the posts?



  • Penn Says:
    August 1st, 2015 at 9:48 am

    When cleaning the refrigerator coils, go the extra distance and clean the refrigerator fan as well. On my old model, it’s accessed at the back of the unit, at the bottom, and requires removal of a couple of screws. Those fans can become nearly clogged with dust, dirt, and pet hair over time. Cleaning them can really improve the performance of the refrigerator. Mine stopped switching on as often, which saved on the electric bill. MUST UNPLUG REFRIGERATOR BEFORE DOING COILS OR FAN!!!



  • Lise Says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I have cement stairs in the front of my house , they have been painted many many times now it needs new paint but I`m having a hard time to get all the old paint off do you have any idea how to get it all off ..thx



  • JC Says:
    August 1st, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Question about ac unit indoors. I have removed old filter and replace with new. Notice coils are dirty with dust that is wet. What are some ways to clean the coil, and inside until.



  • Holly S Says:
    August 1st, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Great list! Thanks



  • Karen Says:
    August 18th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    What can I do to repair or replace the wood that has pulled apart from the right angles that frame our bay window? I have tried caulking, but the gaps seem to be too wide.


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