Everyone pretty much knows to check the general HVAC system’s air filter every month or two, however, it is surprising how many do not understand its importance. For homeowners that do know the furnace filter needs to be checked, most view it as a bothersome chore that they keep putting off. It is essential to evaluate the furnace’s filter, and today, we at Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning would like to elaborate on the understanding the basics of your home’s furnace filter.
How Important is a Clean Air Filter?
A crucial task to protecting the performance of your HVAC system between regular tune-up appointments is changing the air filter in your furnace, which is an ordinarily simple and inexpensive duty. It is a significant contributor to the overall air quality in your home most importantly. Furnace filters are rated using the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV ratings range from 1 to 16 with the higher the rating, the more particles the filter can remove. Increased energy consumption, substandard heating throughout your home, poor air quality in your living spaces and even the overall failure of your heating system among other comfort issues are the result of clogged air filters.
How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter in the Winter?
Depending on a variety of factors, how often you should switch out your air filter varies. The quantity of people living in your home, any indoor pets and whether there is construction or other external influences near your home affecting your indoor air quality should be taken into consideration as far how often you change the filter. As a general rule of thumb, homeowners should check their filters once a month, particularly in the winter season. Replace the filters if the appear dirty. If you have pets and allergies, you may have to consider changing them more often. At the minimum, however, you should never exceed more than 3 months to change out the filter.
How to Change a Furnace Air Filter
In general, most homeowners can handle replacing the air filter themselves, the challenge just seems remembering to do it. Below is a general guideline to use when you find a dirty air filter that needs to be replaced.
1) Be sure to attain the correct size air filter that is the right fit for your unit and purchase the filter.
2) Shut down the system off by turning off the breaker or power to the system.
3) To reveal an open compartment, open or remove the air filter panel close to the bottom of your unit.
4) You will see your filter resting on two metal supports, on the top of that open compartment.
5) Remove one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment where there will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth to allow you to.
6) Check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction, while installing the new filter. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part of the furnace.
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Typically, the furnace air filter replacement is done during tune-up services, or if you are incapable of replacing the filter, call Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning and let our experts ensure it is done.