change furnace filter

If you want your heating and cooling system to work efficiently, keep the air inside clean, and last as long as possible, you need to change the filter on your furnace often. In this article, we will give you a quick and easy guide on changing your furnace filter effectively.

But first, When should you Change Your Furnace Filters?

Standard Recommendation

During the winter, when your heating system is used frequently, it is recommended to inspect the air filter once a month. It is sufficient to change the filter of your furnace and air conditioner every three months for typical use if there are no other issues in it.

Home Environment and Usage

You may need to change your filter more frequently—maybe even monthly—if your home is in a setting with dogs, smokers, or a lot of dust. Pollen, dust, and pet dander are just a few examples of the outside pollutants that can quickly block filters.

Allergy Considerations

Keeping the air in homes where people suffer from allergies cleaner can help relieve their symptoms. For these situations, changing the filter every 30 to 45 days can assist in reducing the amount of airborne allergens.

Filter Type and Quality

How frequently you need to change your filter is also affected by the type of filter you use. The more effectively pleated or HEPA filters trap particles, the less often you should change a basic fiberglass filter.

System Efficiency and Energy Costs

Your HVAC system will work less and save money on energy costs if the filter is clean and air can flow freely through it. Your energy expenses can go up and your system could break down or malfunction if you have a dirty filter.

Visual Inspection

Along with these rules of thumb, you should visually check your filter regularly. When dirt and dust accumulate on the filter or if it looks gray and clogged, it’s time to replace it. To check if the filter needs replacing, simply hold it up to the light; if the light doesn’t pass through properly, it’s time to buy a new one.

A number of elements in the home affect how often you should change the furnace filter, but there are general guidelines that our professionals recommend:-

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Steps to Change Your Furnace Filter

Duration: 5 minutes

First and foremost, you must ensure your safety and get yourself ready:

Turn Off the Furnace: Be sure to turn off your HVAC system. Most thermostats have an "off" setting or a main switch on the furnace that you can use for this purpose. So, the system won't activate when the filter is changed, which means dust won't be circulated and loose objects won't be drawn in.

Gather Necessary Tools: As a general rule, you won't need any special equipment to access the furnace panel, but a screwdriver could be useful in an emergency. Keep a flashlight on available as well in case the area where your furnace is situated is not well-lit.

Prepare the Area: Make sure you have a clear area around the furnace so you can work safely. Doing so will facilitate your access to the furnace and avoid obstacles.

Duration: 10 minutes

It is important to identify and inspect your existing filter:

Find the Filter Slot: The furnace's blower fan compartment, sometimes concealed behind a metal door or panel, is where you can find the filter slot. Particularly in HVAC systems, it may be positioned within an aperture in the return air ductwork in certain setups.

Inspect the Filter: Carefully slide out the filter to inspect it. The filter is held in something as simple as a wired frame in some devices, while in others you may find a more elaborate door or lock.

Examine for Wear and Tear: See if the old filter is worn out by bringing it into the light. When light is obstructed and doesn't pass through, it means that the filter is full of dust, loose debris, and other airborne particulates. In order to know when to repair it, look for signs of damage or excessive dirt buildup.

Duration: 15 minutes

To keep the air clean and the system running efficiently, choosing the right filter is crucial:

Understand Filter Size and Ratings: Verify the measurements and MERV rating on the frame of the previous filter. Examples of common dimensions include 16 x 25 x 1 inches. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is the metric used to rank filters. Ratings between 7 to 13 are ideal for the majority of households, striking a good balance between system performance and air quality. A higher MERV value implies that the filter can trap dust and smaller particles easily, whereas a lower number suggests that it cannot.

Choose the Right Type of Filter:

  • Fiberglass Filters: The most cost-effective option for capturing larger particles such as dust and lint is a fiberglass filter.

  • Pleated Filters: More costly, but more effective in capturing fine particles like pollen and pet dander are pleated filters.

  • HEPA Filters: Best for homes with allergy sufferers: these expensive filters perform well and can trap extremely small particles.

Purchase a New Filter: Think about your needs (allergies, pets, smoking in the house, etc.) and choose the type of disposable filters that work well with your HVAC system.

Duration: 10 minutes

The efficiency of the filter depends on its installation:

Check the Airflow Direction: The new filter should have an arrow on the side showing you which way the air flows. The direction of the blower motor, not the return duct, should be indicated by this arrow.

Insert the New Filter: Carefully slide the filter into position, making sure there are no spaces around its area. The efficiency of the filter decreases and dirt may be able to enter the HVAC system if it is not properly aligned.

Secure the Filter: If your HVAC unit has a furnace cover or panel, make sure it's placed securely so air can't escape around the filter.

Duration: 5 minutes

It is critical to run a system check when the new filter is installed to make sure it can filter air efficienctly:

  • Turn the Furnace Back On: Press the main switch or the thermostat to restart the furnace.

  • Check System Operation: Make sure the system boots up properly and listen for any strange noises to confirm it's running smoothly. A successful filter replacement is indicated by a smooth startup.

  • Set a Reminder: Write down the date of the filter change and schedule a reminder for when you should check again. Most people do this once every one to three months, but those with pets, severe allergies, or a lot of dust may need to do it more frequently.

Why choose Comfort Union for Maintaining Your HVAC System

Changing a furnace filter monthly or on a routine basis is an integral component of HVAC maintenance. This includes monitoring the heat exchanger, heating coil, and overall system health through annual inspections performed by professionals such as those at Comfort Union. Preventing unexpected malfunctions and maximizing your system’s efficiency are two key goals of regular maintenance.

By providing individualized maintenance plans, our professionals make it their first priority to keep your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems running smoothly and reliably. If you want your HVAC system to improve indoor air quality and cut energy expenses, our team of seasoned experts has what it takes to make sure it’s running at peak efficiency.

Choose Comfort Union for dedicated support and quality service that keeps your environment comfortable and your systems running smoothly all year round.

Contact us today for more details!

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