Because they are a behind-the-scenes player in your HVAC system, it’s very easy to forget about replacing your furnace filters on a regular basis. Unfortunately, neglecting them for too long can force you to overpay each month on your heating costs.
Keeping your furnace filters fresh by changing them routinely helps your HVAC system by limiting the amount of debris that accumulates on them. When you forget to change them, this debris builds up and makes it more difficult for air to get distributed properly. Your air system ends up having to use more energy to push air through, overworking your system and driving up your heating costs.
This increased wear and tear can shorten the life expectancy of your HVAC system. It also makes you more susceptible to unexpected breakdowns in the middle of winter as you begin to use your furnace more and more. Not only that but your indoor air quality will deteriorate as the extra strong push of air can dislodge some of the pollutants that have been captured by your furnace filter.
During the winter, most filters need to be replaced each month, but you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific filter.
There are some furnace filters that are meant to be washed by hand rather than thrown out and replace. These will be more expensive. but the longer life can make up for the increased cost. There are many products available on the market for cleaning these, but simple soap and water will also suffice. Never hand-wash a disposable filter as even the slightest, invisible damage can wreak havoc on your indoor air quality.
You also need to make sure that your filter is installed as tightly as possible so that contaminated air isn’t able to bypass without getting filtered. If there is dust in the chamber behind your filter, you should get a filter with a gasket to create an airtight seal that will stop this from happening.
For more information on furnace filters, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve served the Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filter changes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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