Well before the heating season begins, it is a good idea to check your furnace to make sure it is ready to go when cold temperatures hit. One thing you can do yourself is check and change your furnace filter.
It is very easy to do and is one of the top things you can do to not only make your furnace run more efficiently, but also to extend the life of your furnace since the blower motor doesn’t have to work as hard with a clean filter.
- Turn off the power to the furnace. Don’t forget to do this for safety.
- Locate the service panel. This will depend on your furnace configuration. Most likely, the filter service panel will be located in the return air inlet on the bottom or side (left or right) for an upflow furnace. For a downflow furnace, the return air inlet will either be on the top or side (left or right). For both applications, whether it is on the top or bottom or the side will depend on if the furnace is installed horizontally or vertically.
- Check the existing filter. Slide the currently installed filter out. If you cannot see through it, it needs to be changed.
- Insert the new filter. Make sure to get the same size filter (height x width) as the filter you removed. The new filter will slide in easily and then you just closed the panel and re-install any screws (if applicable) and you are done.
When you select a new filter, if you haven’t upgraded from a simple fiberglass filter, consider installing a more advanced pleated disposable filter or a washable filter, which can be rinsed and reused for up to several years. These filters trap more particles, and are particulalry beneficial if you have pets or live in a region with a lot of dirt and dust. In addition, consider upgrading even further to a HEPA filter, which come in both disposable and re-usable versions. HEPA filters are great for allergy sufferers with the added benefit of removing odors from the home.
Furnace air filters are an area where spending more for an advanced filter really does make a difference in the air quality of your home and in the life of the furnace. Once you have changed your furnace filter prior to cooling season, check it once a month during the furnace operating season. Depending on the filter, you may need to change it monthly, but at a minimum every 3 months if you can still see through it each time you check it.
For more information on the different types of furnace filters available, call us at 1-800-880-0199 M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, or e-mail us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.