Why Replacing Furnace Filters is Important
Replacing the filter of your furnace is crucial to your home’s comfort and the efficiency of the system as well. If you have to think long and hard about when was the last time you have cleaned or replaced your air filter, now would be a good time to do it or at least consider it. There are several reasons why replacing the furnace’s filter is important. If you have a clogged filter you will have an inefficient system. When the filter for your furnace is clogged with grime, dirt and grime your system will have to work twice as much to move air through your home. Your energy bills will increase as well as the carbon monoxide while draining your budget. Not only do dirty air filters hurt the cost of your pockets, but they can also harm your health. With a dirty air filter, it allows dust dander and mold to circulate throughout your home. Meaning your family is susceptible to breathing in these things which can bring some health concerns worse such as asthma, allergies and other respiratory concerns. Having a clean filter is able to trap these nasty contaminants in order for your family to breathe freely.
Another reason clogged filters need to be replaced is your furnace’s lifespan will be reduced significantly. When your system has to work harder in order to heat and cool your home, the result is much more than an increased amount of energy bills. It also can potentially cause your system to overheat and burn out. The stress placed on the blower and the entire unit can lead to unanticipated failure. A clogged filter is actually one of the top reasons people call when they have a system that has completely failed. It is much cheaper to replace your furnace’s filter before it is time to when an easy swap of the air filter will fix the problem. By neglecting your air filter you are causing an all too much costly mistake that could have been avoided.
Although a clogged air filter does not always lead to your furnace failing it does lead to more costly maintenance. Ductwork that needs to be cleaned regularly due to dust circulating through your home or a blower that just stops working can both be avoided with simple routine air filter replacement. Surely spending your money elsewhere is more appealing than replacing and repairing parts of your furnace. This is why considering making air filter replacement a part of your usual schedule is needed. Your home will also be cleaner with a clean air filter. Having a clean air filter cuts down on the amount of dust accumulated in your home as it will not circulate through your home’s furnace. This will reduce the time spent on cleaning such as dusting and more time to spend doing the things you love to do.
Most likely with all the benefits, you are now aware of you are more willing to commit yourself to change your air filter more frequently. The question now is how frequently does the filter need to be changed? This will depend on the demand actually placed on your filter and the type you use, but a good general idea is to change it every other month. The good news is that the act of replacing a filter for your furnace is a very simple job once you know what you’re doing. Meaning there are ways that you could accidentally make a mistake which could be purchasing the wrong filter for your furnace or by putting it in backward. If the air filter is placed in backward this will block the air flow instead of cleaning the air. Here are some simple steps you can use to make this an easy to do task.
What filter do you currently have? You can find this out by first turning off the furnace if it is currently on. Remove the filter for your furnace located inside the furnace or inside of the return air vent. Check for an arrow on the actual filter which indicates the airflow direction. Have a permanent marker handy to draw the direction of the airflow on the outside of your furnace. This way you will always know the correct way to install the filter when needing to replace it. Take note of the filter size which will be printed on the frame made of cardboard. Now some filters that have a plastic frame opposed to cardboard indicated the frame is a reusable model. If this is the case in your situation this actually means you will have to clean it periodically by using a vacuum and water, preferably outdoors. Be sure the filter is completely dry before you reinsert it into the furnace.
Now you need to get the right replacement filter for your furnace. To purchase furnace filters you will be able to find them in local home centers, hardware stores as well online. Typically the disposable filters are 1 or 2 inches thick. There is access in stores and even online to check ratings of furnace filters which is known as whole-house air filters, use this for a right-sized model that was effective at removing smoke, pollen, and dust when the air is passed through at both high and low speeds. Most places can also test the thickness of furnace filters even some up to 5 inches and they often provide superior air cleaning. However, if your furnace is not already equipped to handle a thicker type filter it would need to be modified by an HVAC professional.
Now that you have purchased the new air filter for your furnace it is time to put it inside. Looks for the markings which will indicate which side of the filter should be facing the furnace. Then take the filter and slide it into place and be sure to replace any cover that goes over it. A good idea is to keep a record of the date you have changed the furnace’s air filter that way you will know exactly when you need to change the filter again.