You probably know your furnace has a filter, and you probably also know it needs changing now and then. But what else do you know about it? The fact is, your furnace filter (which is the same as the air conditioner or air filter) is a key component of the HVAC system for keeping you comfortable and in good health, as well as ensuring the system runs properly, all winter long.
Changing the Filter
Changing the air filter is relatively easy. In most systems, the filter is quite accessible, and involves just sliding it out and replacing it with one of a similar size and shape. That said, not all filters are equal. If you opt for a flimsy, inexpensive fiberglass filter, you should change it at least once a month. These filters will keep the largest dirt particles out of your system, but they're only effective when they don't have a layer of dirt and debris built up on the surface.
A pleated, polyester filter, rated 8 to 12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, will do a much better job of capturing airborne particulates such as mold spores, pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Better filters capture smaller particles, so they don't get into the HVAC system and cause the parts to malfunction. Although these filters may cost a bit more than the cheap ones, you can generally use them for up to three months.
A clean, good quality filter also does a better job of capturing particles that might otherwise be recirculated into your home's air, aggravating allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems. That's particularly important in the winter, when you're locked up tight in your home.
A dirty air filter can also impede air flow, causing your system to work harder to heat or cool your home and resulting in breakdowns and a shorter lifespan for your equipment.
Need more information on your furnace filter? Contact Hartman Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning today. We've served our Fort Wayne-area customers since 1963.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area 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 Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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