Regularly replacing air filters helps maintain the quality of the air in your home and the efficiency of heating and cooling appliances. Replacing a furnace air filter is a simple, but essential task that can be completed by a handyman or other technician. Understanding a few aspects of the job can help you anticipate its expense.
Replacing Air Filters in Different Types of Buildings
Residential furnace filters are available in a number of materials and styles, but in standardized sizes. The installation process may vary with furnace brands, but is generally uncomplicated and costs an average of $52, nationally. The cost of changing an air filter in an apartment averages $64, but may depend on whether the furnace is located in the apartment or is centrally located to serve several units in a building. A number of factors, from accessibility to furnace type, may influence the cost of replacing an air filter at a business. Depending on the nature of the site and project, the job costs an average of $89 in the U.S.
As with any maintenance project, the accessibility of the work site is an important consideration in the difficulty and cost of the job. Furnaces located in easy-to-reach areas are typically simpler to service, with filter replacement rates averaging $53 for a furnace in a basement, $58 for one in a garage, and $49 for a closet unit. Difficulty accessing some locations may lead to higher prices, such as $67 for a filter change in an attic and $94 for working on a roof-mounted furnace. Regardless of its location, be sure to provide clear and safe access to the furnace to simplify the job and reduce risk for your contractor.
Supplying a Replacement Filter
Furnace air filters are readily available from retailers nationwide, allowing you the opportunity to select the type of filter that meets your needs and preferences. If you provide the filter for your replacement project, you can expect the labor-only service to cost about $53. If you have difficulty finding the correct size filter for your application, or simply prefer to have your contractor provide the filter and include it in his price, the project may cost $112.
A wide variety of filter options provides choices in several thicknesses. If your furnace is equipped to hold the depth of your preferred filter, the replacement process should be very simple. But, if modifications are needed to accommodate a thicker filter, the job may be more complex and time consuming. Depending on the conditions of the installation, it typically costs $48 to replace a 1“ deep filter versus $64 for a 4” filter and $73 for one 5” deep.
Though filter size may not make a significant difference in installation procedures, it may be an indicator of job requirements, and help your contractor determine pricing, particularly if your replacement filter is an uncommon size and is hard to obtain. Replacement rates can vary with filter size, with national averages of $47 for a 16"x 20" unit, $47 for one 16"x 25", $51 for a 20"x 20", $53 for 20"x 24" filters and $53 for one 20"x 25". Installing a 20"x 30" filter may cost $56, compared to $54 for a 20"x 36", $48 for a 14"x 20", $51 for 14"x 25", $51 for 14"x 30", and $54 for 14"x 36". Finally, replacement rates average $47 for a 24"x 24" filter, $51 for one 24"x 30", and $54 for a 24"x 36".
Planning For Replacing Air Filters
As you prepare for an air filter change, consider how the accessibility of your furnace and the characteristics of your filter may influence the cost of the job. Your retailer or contractor can help you select a filter that provides a suitable balance of air quality and energy efficiency, and can help you plan ahead for regular maintenance and changes.