If you made a mental note to check your furnace filter, you are in the minority. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not even have that vital task on their radar. And even fewer follow through with actually completing the chore. But all of those who do not understand the value of their furnace filter or have not learned how to check and replace it are destined to be paying some significant furnace repair bills in the future.
Why Checking The Filter Is Critical
The primary responsibility of a furnace filter is to protect the delicate components inside your HVAC system from the damage caused by dust and dirt. Providing you with cleaner air inside your home is only a fortunate added benefit. It is also important to note that the filter will become covered in dust and dirt by doing its job correctly and will eventually limit proper airflow to your furnace.
You should inspect your furnace filter monthly to ensure that the surface is not coated with dust and debris, limiting the airflow to your furnace. Limited airflow causes your furnace to be overworked, shortens its lifespan and both its energy efficiency and ability to heat your home.
More On When To Inspect And Replace The Air Filter
Many furnace filters claim to last for three months. But there is no way to know how long a filter will remain functional in your home. There are many variables, including the amount of dust in the environment, if you smoke in your home, if there is a wood-burning fireplace, and if there are pets, to name a few.
And finally, the quality of the filter will have a significant impact on its life expectancy. But it is important to note that a higher-quality filter will not last as long as a lower quality option because of its filtration ability. The higher quality filters will trap close to 99.98% of the particles and need to be replaced more often. But you will enjoy higher air quality in your home.
The How To’s
Checking and changing a furnace filter is one of the easiest tasks in your house. For many homeowners, the biggest challenge is the location of the filter. To check the filter, open the panel to remove and view it. If the color is grey and the filter looks fuzzy with a coating of dust on it, it is time to replace it. Be sure to have the correct size filters on hand in case a replacement is needed.
Turn off the furnace before attempting to replace the air filter. Remove the old filter and place it in a trash bag to avoid dust contamination of your home. Note the airflow directional arrow in the frame of the old filter. Install the new filter with the arrows pointing in the same direction. These arrows always indicate the direction of the airflow. Replace the grate or screen that you removed before inspecting the furnace filter and turn the furnace back to its normal run cycle.
A Few Tips
It can be easy to forget to check your HVAC filters throughout the year. Setting a monthly reminder on your phone is a great way to ensure that you remember this essential task. Some homeowners also opt to join an online furnace filter program that ships you filters every three months. It serves as a replacement reminder when the filters arrive.
For professional seasonal service or furnace filter replacement, call (318) 202-9144. The furnace experts at Gordon AC & Plumbing offer many service plans to keep your home’s furnace working at its peak efficiency.