I’ve been a homeowner for about a year and a half. Before this, I lived in apartments from 2004 to 2015. I give this context so that maybe you’ll understand the story I’m about to tell you…
Here is a real conversation that happened between J and I on Tuesday night.
Scene: J is adjusting something with the air filter in his house, while I am watching the Mariner’s game on his comfortable couch and TV that has cable.
Me: What are you doing?
Him: Adding air freshener to the air filter
Me: How often do you do that?
Him: (Says something I wasn’t totally listening to because I was watching the game, but then I also hear something like) when you change the filter.
Me: How often are you supposed to change those filters, anyway?
Him: (look of shock) Every three months.
Him: (look of shock now mixed with disgust) How often have you changed yours?
Me: … Never.
Him and his roommate: (Dual looks of disgust.)
You guys. I swear I am not a slob. I’ve just literally never had to change the air filter before. I’ve only ever lived in apartments in Washington that didn’t have central air or heat, or in Nevada where they put a note on your door to remind you it was time to change the filter, and someone came and changed it! Of course, when I lived with my parents as a child, they handled that sort of thing when it was necessary.
How to Change the Air Filter in Your House
On Wednesday night, I figured out what air filter size I needed. It’s written on the edge of your filter. I didn’t have to remove anything to see it through the grates. It will be three numbers, mine was 12 x 24 x 1.
On Thursday after work, I went to Home Depot and bought the air filter. Just so you guys know, they’re significantly more expensive than I expected! I figured it would be like $3.00. It’s just some paper and fabric or foam or something, right? Wrong. Anyway, it was $18.
There were four different “ratings.” Each rating has different protections ranging from dust to mold to allegedly killing germs in the air or preventing them from recirculating. I say allegedly because it doesn’t make sense to me that a filter can do that, but what do I know? I didn’t even know when to change it! The options were a 4, 7, 9 or 10 rating. I chose a 9.
I came home, nervous about how to install it, read the directions, and literally like 60 seconds later the process was done. There’s a place you can write when to change it on the filter, I elected not to do that, but it’s a helpful option. That would have added like 15 seconds to the process.
So, change your air filters, folks. It doesn’t take long, it’s good for your air system and your lungs, and if none of that convinces you that it’s worth the $18, here’s a comparison photo to get your attention.
Gross. I assure you that three months from now, I’ll be replacing this with a new one.
Also, please excuse the iPhone photos. I wasn’t putting my DSLR anywhere near that.