When the temperatures go down and furnaces get fired up, we want to ensure you’re furnace is ready for heavier use. The most common reason we get called to a home for repair service this time of year is due to a dirty filter. This is preventable with regular changes of the furnace filter every month. If you have furry critters or allergies/asthma, you may want to change more frequently. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I can’t recall if I have changed it.” or “I am not sure I know where the filter is.” then you should change it out now and then get into the habit of doing this 1x a month. This is a fairly easy task that takes less than 10 minutes.
Costs of a filter can be anywhere from $1.50 to $50 depending on how fancy you want to get. The variables in the cost of a filter are due to different filtering mediums – anywhere from basic filter material to the kind that are engineered for allergies/asthma. We recommend the basic filters since those allow the most air flow through and prevents your system from working harder. There isn’t a need to go with allergen filters if you change out the filter each month, but extreme allergy/asthma cases may benefit.
Here are our 3 benefits achieved by changing out your filter at least once a month:
Extend the life of your furnace. As dirt accumulates, air can’t pass, and if not addressed will cause the system to overheat. The motor then has to work harder. If you use or have used a vacuum or a hair dryer, it’s the same principle – without cleaning the dust from a filter or changing the bag, the motor has to work harder and will result in a no longer functioning appliance. This restriction of air flow is the same reason we recommend basic air filters – the less air flow in your system, the harder the motor has to work to get air to flow.
Keep energy costs down. When that clogged air filter is working harder, more energy is being used. And when it requires more energy to make your heating and air conditioning to work, it causes your energy bill to skyrocket. When you consistently change your air filter, you can save from 5 to 15 percent on your utility costs.
Improve air quality. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma – this is one of the best methods to help reduce the likelihood to exacerbate symptoms. If you have pets, it’s even more important because pet hair with dander will accumulate in the system and then spread allergens throughout the household. It’s also a good idea to ensure you vacuum or sweep well around your cold air return as well as all vent grills. If you have venting grills in your bathrooms, ensure you vacuum those or clean them regularly.
By changing your filters monthly, you’ll avoid a clogged up air filter that can optimize your HVAC system and avoid the need for repairs, service and parts that you hadn’t budgeted for or were planning on.
How do you know if your filter is dirty?
Your filter may look different than this, and may not be as dirty, but here is how to tell a clean vs. dirty filter.
What size do I get and where can I buy it?
Filters come in different sizes, including widths and most home improvement stores carry filters. The most efficient way to get the right size and type, is to remove the filter and take it with you to the store. Stock up, buying in bulk can reduce the cost per piece and minimize your trips to the store.
How do I find my filter?
Your filter location can vary depending on which model you have – here is a quick video to help you.
That’s it! With a little planning on having the right filters for your furnace or HVAC system, you can keep it operating efficiently with a 10 minute task. If you’re still needing help, give us a call, we can give you a tune up and a quick tutorial while we’re there so you can do this yourself every month after our visit. We can also offer up filters in your size in bulk, eliminating the need to go to the store. Contact us here.