We can offer plenty of advice for how to better and more energy efficiently heat your home during the winter. And we can offer plenty of heating services in Davison, MI to improve your overall comfort. But if we could only say one thing, only give a single piece of advice, it would be to regularly change your furnace’s air filter.
Thankfully, we have our own website and the space to elaborate on this advice …
The Job of the Furnace Filter
To explain what the furnace filter does, it’s best to first explain what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t clean the air in your home. Although it can remove some of the particles circulating around your home, this isn’t its primary job; if you want filtered, healthier air, arrange for special indoor air quality filter to be installed.
What the furnace filter is actually in place to do is protect the interior of the furnace from the particles draw in through the return air vents. A large amount of dust and lint can get into the furnace cabinet and cause damage to the furnace’s effectiveness if the filter weren’t there to block them.
When the Filter Becomes Clogged
The furnace filter doesn’t have any way to clean itself, so it will eventually gather enough debris to become clogged. The same way you don’t want the lint catcher in the clothes dryer to become clogged (your clothes will come out damp and the dryer will waste energy), you don’t want the furnace filter to become clogged (the furnace won’t work as efficiently).
How long does it take before a furnace filter needs to be replaced? It depends on the strength of the filter, as well as how often the HVAC system is running. Inexpensive panel filters usually need to be replaced once a month. Stronger pleated filters can last around three months, and sometimes longer. Get in the habit of checking monthly on the filter to see if it’s getting clogged so you’ll have an idea of how frequently you need to change it.
What About Permanent Filters?
You’re probably familiar with the permanent plastic air filters found in window air conditioning units. Furnaces can also use these, and they need to be cleaned once a month. However, we don’t recommend using permanent filters: they aren’t powerful at catching particles, and they can develop mold and mildew over time. Non-permanent filters are not expensive (you can often purchase packs of panel filters for around a dollar per filter) and work far better.
Where You’ll Find the Filter
If you aren’t sure where the filter is located, there are two places to look. You’ll often find the filter in a slot at the point where the return air ducts connect to the furnace cabinet. If the filter is not located there, you can find it behind the grill of the return air vent in your home.
If you need help finding or changing your furnace’s filter, you can always rely on our professionals. We’ll change the filter for you during each maintenance visit.