Changing The Furnace Filter: A Priority During The Winter Season

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to save energy, receive peak performance from your furnace and provide improved indoor air quality for you and your loved ones is changing the furnace filter regularly.

Free airflow

Free airflow through the filter and blower is important for many reasons. A clogged filter may cause the following problems:

  • Reduced furnace fuel efficiency
  • Increased blower workload
  • Increased wear and tear on the blower motor
  • Compressor coils become clogged
  • Reduced indoor air quality

Changing the furnace filter

It’s important to follow filter manufacturer specifications for changing times. One to three months is a common time period for checking and changing the furnace filter. Factors that may affect the necessary frequency of changing the furnace filter include the type of filter you use, the amount of contaminants in the air, and how much you use your furnace.

It may be more cost-effective to purchase a case of filters. Open the package and label each filter with the month you expect to change. To check or change the filter, remove the door panel to gain access. The filter is usually located at the air intake from the return duct. Slide out the old filter and replace it with the new filter, with the arrows pointing toward your furnace.

Choosing a filter

Look at the filter section at your local home supply store, and you’ll see dozens of filters from which to choose. Selecting the right filter depends on your household’s needs for indoor air quality, and the size of filter your furnace requires. The width is standard unless your furnace is designed or customized to use a wider high-efficiency filter.

You may notice filter ratings and information that indicate the lifespan and/or filter efficiency. MERV is a common rating that stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. MERV ratings run from 1 to 16 for residential filters, with 16 being the most effective at removing the smallest airborne contaminants. In most heating systems, MERV filters 8 to 12 strike a happy medium for capturing airborne particulates, including mold spores, carpet fibers, pet dander, pollen and more, while still allowing sufficient airflow for furnace efficiency.

For more information about changing the furnace filter in your greater Cleveland home, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!   

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