When and How to Change Your Air Filter

Man with dark hair replacing the air filter in a Clayton Built® home.

Learn where to find your manufactured home’s air filter, how often you should change it and how to clean reusable air filters!

After you purchase a home, whether it is site-built, modular or manufactured, you should have a list of maintenance tasks to do regularly to keep your home running properly.

You should have a schedule for checking everything from the roof’s shingles to the batteries in the smoke detectors. One task on your maintenance lists should also be to clean or change your home’s air filter.

An air filter plays a huge role in keeping your home comfortable and clean year-round. Whether your home’s heating and cooling system is gas, electric or oil, this filter significantly reduce the amount of dust and other particles circulating throughout your home and keeps them from clogging your HVAC unit.

Typically, your home’s furnace and air conditioner both use the same air filter. You should make sure this filter is clean year-round to ensure your home is running as efficiently as possible.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

As a rule of thumb, you should change your air filter according to your HVAC system manufacturer’s recommendation, which is typically every 30-90 days.

During the hottest months and coldest months, it’s possible you might have to replace the filter more often because you will likely be using your air conditioning and heat more often. Over the course of these months, your home’s HVAC system will be pushing more air through the filter, likely causing more dust and particle build-up.

5 Steps to Changing Your Air Filter

1. Locate the filter Finding your home’s air filter is the first step to keeping the air in your home clean throughout the year.

Typically, your ventilation system’s metal return air filter grille will be located in your home’s utility closet. Inside this grille is where you will find your air filter! If you are having trouble finding your air filter, you can refer to your homeowner’s manual or ask your Clayton home consultant for help.

2. Shut off your heating and cooling unit Once you locate the return grille that contains the air filter, turn off your HVAC unit or shut off the breaker. Doing so will make checking and replacing the filter much easier.

3. Determine if it’s time to change filter Open the grille that contains the air filter and remove the existing filter from the unit. The more transparent it is, the cleaner it is. If the filter contains dust, dirt and is too dirty to see through, it’s time to change it! Using the suggested replacement schedule on the air filter’s packaging or in your homeowner’s manual is a great way to know when to check your filter.

4. Check the size of your filter Open the grille and look at the existing air filter’s size, which is printed on the side. There are many different manufactured home air filter sizes, so make sure you get the right one! Sizes can be anything from 10x20x1 to 24x30x1. Take note of the size and head to the nearest hardware store to buy a replacement air filter.

Pet lovers, don’t worry! There are filters specifically made to handle your furry friend’s dander. Look for packaging that states the filter will filter out pet dandruff.

5. Replace your filter Now you’ve reached the easiest and final step! Take out the old, dirt-covered filter and replace it with the new, clean one. Don’t forget to check “change my manufactured home air filter” off your maintenance to-do list! By changing your air filter regularly, your home will stay cleaner and sit at a more comfortable temperature year-round, while also running more efficiently.

Watch How to Change Your Air Filter

Home Care Tips and Tools: How to Change Your Air Filter


Reusable Air Filters

You can reduce, reuse, and recycle with reusable air filters! These air filters are specially made to be cleaned out and reused. Some manufactured homes even come with metal air filters that you can clean as part of a regular maintenance schedule.

To clean a reusable air filter, you’ll flush the filter with water and then let it dry before replacing it.

Want more manufactured home cleaning tips? Download our free seasonal maintenance checklist below!

Take care of your home all year long with this easy-to-use seasonal checklist.

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