October Home Maintenance To-Do List

By: Danny Lipford

Replacing the air filter on a central heating/cooling air return.

To-Do #1: Replace HVAC 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 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 usually located behind the wall or floor air return grate. In some systems the filter may be in or near the air handler unit. If you have trouble locating yours, check out our article on How to Find the Air Filter in Your Home.

To replace an air filter:

  1. Turn the heating/cooling system 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 HVAC unit.
  6. Put the cover back on the air return.
  7. Turn the heating/cooling 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 the Air Filter in Your Home to find out more.

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4 Comments on “October Home Maintenance To-Do List”

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  • gordon L Says:
    October 1st, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    any suggestion(s) in removing a single knob/ handle shower cartridge that leaks. I have sprayed threaded area and have even headed the cover which encases the cartridge with a torch and still cannot break it free to remove the cartridge. I did not want to put too much torque on the housing which could break the water supply line(s). I have use the rust catalyst spray PB which supposedly helps free rusted metal parts w/ no success.



  • Timothy J Sabo Says:
    October 1st, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Danny,

    We love your show. Nice commercial (Nutri-system) Allen! Anyway, one thing we are sure to do at this time of year is to replace the batteries in our thermostats (digital versions). As it is starting to get cold at night, furnaces will not come on if the batteries in the thermostat are dead. Brrr! We have rentals, and at least one of the tenants call to report they don’t have heat: a dead battery is the easiest fix and the first thing to check.



  • helena Says:
    November 2nd, 2014 at 6:49 am

    i have a dining room table that is three generations old, when we sit at it for dinner it creaks like it is going to fall apart. the nuts are tight. do you have any suggestions for taking the creak out? humbly Helena



  • Mike broerman Says:
    October 1st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I have tried everything from fabic, wet and seal and other products that claim the it will stop my gutter leaking.If you have another solution other than replace these gutters.We loved your show and watched them every week.You can even come here because 3 of our neibors have the same problem


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