How to Replace Supply & Return Air Vent Filters in Your Home HVAC System

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Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Mark P.

Replacing air vent filter is not difficult and most replacements can be done with no tools by just unlatching the vent. Some vent types do require you to unscrew the vent using a screwdriver or wrench.

When replacing your air vent filters, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, make sure you know the size of your air vent filter. You can usually find this information on the side of the filter itself.

Second, make sure you buy the right type of air vent filter for your system. There are a variety of air filters on the market, so it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your HVAC system.

Third, when you replace the air vent filter, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This will help to ensure that the air quality in your home is not compromised.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to replacing air vent filters in your home:

Return Air Vent Filter Replacement

Return Air Vent in Ceiling with Filter

Return air vents are an important part of a home’s heating and cooling system. They help to circulate air throughout the house and keep the temperature stable. Return air vents are usually located near the floor or in the ceiling, and they are often covered by a grill or screen.

The size of the vent depends on the size of the room it is located in. Return air vents play an important role in keeping a home comfortable, and filters should be checked regularly to make sure they are functioning properly and not clogged.

How To Replace Return Air Vent Filter

  1. Step 1: Locate the return air vents in your home. These are usually in the floor or ceiling of common areas of your home.
  2. Step 2: Decide What Size Filter You Need – You can either measure the opening or read the size off of the old filter. The most common size is 16”x20” but be sure to take accurate measurements before purchasing a filter.
  3. Step 3: Determine what type of air filter you want in your home – Common filters are fiberglass & pleated but there are other options as well.
  4. Step 4: Unlatch or Unscrew Vent Cover – Once you purchase the correct size and filter type, unlatch the vent cover and replace the old filter with the new one. Relatch or put screws back when new filter is in place.

That’s it. You’re done! Keep in mind that, for most types of return vent filters, it’s best to replace them every 3-6 months depending on how many people and pets are living in your home.

Supply Air Vent Filter Replacement

Supply air vent in ceiling with no filter

Supply air vents, or supply vents, are outlet vents used in forced-air heating, ventilation, and cooling systems to supply your home with heated or cooled air produced by the HVAC equipment.

Supply vents are typically located on walls, ceilings, or near the floor level. In a residential setting, the Supply Air Vent is usually connected to a duct system that distributes the heated or cooled air to different rooms in the house.

The size and number of supply air vents required for a particular space depends on the size of the space and the amount of heat or cool air being produced by the HVAC equipment.

Supply vents can be opened or closed to control the flow of heated or cooled air into a space. When closed, the supply vent acts as a damper, controlling the amount of airflow into the duct system and regulating the distribution of heated or cooled air throughout the house.

How to Replace Supply Air Vent Filter

To replace your supply vent air filters, you will most likely need a flat-head or Phillips-head screwdriver.

  1. Step 1: Locate supply vents in your home – These are commonly located in each room of the home and may be in the ceiling, on the wall or in the floor.
  2. Step 2: Measure your supply vent – Using your screwdriver, remove the supply vent cover. Measure the duct opening. The most common sizes of supply vents in most medium and large rooms are in your home are 4″x10″ (most common), 4″x12″, 6″x10″, and 6″x12″ while smaller rooms in your home may have smaller vents. (Tip: some supply vent filters are placed over the vent. If you decide to go with the over-the-vent option, you do not need to unscrew the vent cover.)
  3. Step 3: Purchase Supply Vent Filter – Most home improvement stores have a variety of options available including some that offer scented supply vent filters. You can also order filters online at stores like Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart or Lowe’s.
  4. Step 4: Replace Supply Vent Filter – Once your new filter arrives, unscrew the vent cover, remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. Screw the vent back in place and you’re done.

Keep in mind that most filters should be replaced every 3-6 months so keep an eye on it or set a reminder to check it every 90 days.

For a list of the best air vents filters by rating, see the top air vent filter choices here.