December Home Maintenance To-Do List

By: Danny Lipford

Replace air filter.

To-Do #1: Replace Furnace Air Filter

The air filter on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system needs to be replaced every 1-3 months to keep the air in your home clean and flowing freely. A high quality air filter is the best choice to remove mold, pollen, and other microscopic particles from the air.

The air filter is usually found behind the air return grate mounted on a wall or in the floor. The filter may also be located in or near the air handler. Check out our article on How to Locate an Air Filter if you can’t find yours.

To replace an air filter:

  1. Turn the heating system off, and wait until it stops running.
  2. Remove the cover on the air return.
  3. Take out the old air filter.
  4. Write the 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 HVAC unit.
  6. Put the cover back on the air return.
  7. Turn the heating system back on.

To make it easier to replace next time, put a sticker on or near the return with the size filter you need to buy and when to replace it.

Check out our video on Changing an Air Filter to find out more.

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2 Comments on “December Home Maintenance To-Do List”

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  • Stephen Ross Says:
    December 2nd, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I have a 1950’s Ranch home with detached garage. There only 3 joists (~20′ – 2×4) in the garage running side to side. Each of them are cracking at knot holes. What is the best way to strengthen/fix (sister another 2×4, or bolt 3″x2″ steel angle and bolt together)??



  • Mary Heleniak Says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for this info. I had no idea filters had different “sides.” Your site (and TV series) has helped this senior citizen more than you’ll ever know. Please keep up the good work. Merry Christmas!


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