Remembering to change your furnace filters is one of the best ways to maintain your HVAC system between tune-ups. Not only will regular furnace filter maintenance keep your air clear when open windows aren’t an option, but it will also reduce heating costs by improving the efficiency of your furnace.
Keeping up with furnace filter maintenance isn’t hard, but there are three primary obstacles that tend to get in people’s way:
- Knowing how often the filter should be changed.
- Knowing how to change a furnace filter (don’t worry—it’s easy).
Why is furnace filter maintenance important?
Regular furnace filter maintenance is essential for the longevity and performance of your furnace. When the filter gets clogged with dust and debris, the furnace has to work harder to funnel warm air throughout your home. Forcing your furnace to work in overdrive places excess strain on the machinery that will ultimately shorten its lifetime. You will find yourself having to replace the furnace sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, changing the filter on a regular basis will improve your furnace’s energy efficiency. When your furnace consumes less energy to run, you will notice a reduction in your monthly heating costs.
A clean furnace filter also means clean air is being filtered throughout your home.
The benefits of regular furnace filter maintenance are three:
- Extended furnace lifetime.
- Improved energy efficiency.
- Better home air quality.
How often is often enough?
The short answer: Change your filter when it’s dirty. How long that takes will vary from home to home, so check it occasionally until you get a sense of the rhythm. In general, you should change your filter about once a month. Factors that influence how often you should change your filter include:
- Home Occupancy – If you live alone, you can change your filter less frequently.
- Number of Pets – Pets shed hair and dander, which clogs filters. The more pets you have, the more often you’ll need to change the filter.
- Allergies – If you suffer from allergies and/or are sensitive to air quality, you may want to change your filter more often to avoid aggravating your symptoms.
- Location – Houses in more rural areas are exposed to less pollution, so air filters don’t have to work as hard and you can wait longer before changing them.
How do I change my furnace filter?
Changing filters is simple. First, purchase the correct filter from your local hardware store or HVAC service provider. Bonfe can ship the correct filters straight to your door. Consult your furnace manual if you’re not sure which kind you need. Next, complete the following steps:
- Turn off the furnace.
- Locate and remove service panel.
- Slide out existing filter (near blower fan).
- Slide in new filter.
- Turn furnace back on.
That’s easy enough…but how do I remember?
Set a monthly reminder on your phone. Put it on the family calendar. Put a post-it note on your thermostat. Do whatever it takes, but make a habit of checking and changing your filter on a regular basis.
Furnace filter maintenance a simple but crucial component of regular home maintenance and goes a long way toward extending the life of your furnace and protecting the health of your home.