How to Change Your Furnace Filter
Like most people, you probably don’t give your furnace much thought as long as it’s keeping you warm during the cold winter months. But in order to keep your furnace running at peak efficiency, you will have to maintain it and change the filter on a regular basis.
Furnace filters protect your furnace from dust, hair and other debris that gets drawn in through cold air return ducts. If dirt gets into the furnace, it can increase fuel consumption and maintenance costs while also reducing furnace life.
Furnace filters also remove dust and allergens from your home, which can contribute to improved air quality for you and your family. If a filter looks dirty as you pull it out, it needs to be replaced or cleaned.
What kind of filter does your furnace use?
There are many types and sizes of filters, most have something called a MERV rating. This is a number from 1 to 20 that identifies the effectiveness of the filter. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at capturing small particles. A MERV rating of between 7 and 13 is ideal for most homes. Make sure that the filter you choose isn’t too restrictive as this can cause your furnace to work harder, which could lead to increased energy usage and shorter equipment life.
The most common furnace filter has disposable pleated paper as the filtration element. Pleated paper does a good job removing most household particles and allergens. With a MERV rating of between 6 and 13, they’re right where a furnace filter should be.
Disposable fiberglass filters are an inexpensive option but tend to have a lower MERV rating.
Permanent reusable filters are made with a solid aluminum or plastic frame. They save money and reduce waste because they’re made to be vacuumed or washed clean. Permanent reusable filters must be cleaned regularly in order to maintain their effectiveness. Never attempt to clean a disposable filter.
How Often Do Filters Need to Be Changed?
Inspect your furnace filter every 30 to 60 days. The frequency of filter maintenance depends on a number of factors. The type of filter you’re using, how many people live in the home, if you have pets and the cleanliness of the home all affect the filters life.
How to Replace Your Filter?
Changing a furnace filter is simple. First, make sure your furnace is turned OFF so it doesn’t blow air when you remove the filter.
Next, locate the filter housing on your furnace. This is different for each model, but you can normally find it between the air intake and the furnace.
Open the compartment door and slide the filter out. Compare the size and type of replacement filter with the old one. Specifications should be printed on the side of the filter. If size information isn’t printed on the filter frame, measure the filter yourself, rounding up to the nearest half inch. Slide the new or cleaned filter in place with arrows pointing towards the furnace in the direction of airflow. Secure the compartment cover, then turn your furnace back ON.
If you need assistance with any furnace maintenance or repair, Call on RelianceTM.