On this blog, we talk a lot about the importance of having an HVAC professional do the maintenance and repairs for your heating and air conditioning systems. It keeps you safe, the experience of a professional means the process will be smooth and efficient, and your equipment can be kept under warranty. But there is one job that you should definitely be doing yourself.
Changing the air filter for your furnace is a simple maintenance job you should include in your regular routine, and it has many benefits. We’ll cover the risks of skipping air filter changes, the basics of how to do it, and how often it should be done.
The Risks of a Dirty Air Filter
The job of the air filter is to prevent dust, pet hair, pollen, and even more alarming contaminants like mold spores from being circulated through your HVAC system and blown back out through your vents for you to breathe. Here are some of the problems that dust and particles can cause.
- Poor Circulation: The clogged filter will slow down air flow, preventing your home from getting enough heat.
- Inefficiency: The effort of pulling air through a thick layer of dust on the filter means your system is working harder than it needs to, which translates to higher utility bills for you.
- Wear and Tear: That same effort means unnecessary strain is being put on the components of your furnace. This can lead to increased repair needs, and it can even shorten the lifespan of your furnace.
- Poor Air Quality: If the air filter is no longer able to catch more particles, air can be forced around it, causing those contaminants to be circulated right back into your home… and your lungs.
Changing Your Furnace Air Filter
If you’ve never done this job, you might be a little intimidated. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
- Location: Usually, the air filter is in the blower compartment, behind a door in the lower portion of your furnace. Sometimes, it is on the side of the furnace, or by the air handler.
- Type: Some furnace air filters are disposable, and they can be thrown away and replaced with new ones. Some filters are meant to be cleaned and put back in. Your furnace might be perfectly happy with either. The up-front cost is higher for a washable filter, but in the long term, you’ll save money.
- The Process: First, turn off your furnace. Then slide the filter out, and either get a replacement or wash it. Reusable filters can be washed in the kitchen sink or with your garden hose. It must be completely dry when you slide it back in and turn the furnace back on.
- If You Have Questions: If at any point in this process, you are concerned or confused, you can consult your owner’s manual. If you don’t have the manual for your furnace, or if your question isn’t answered fully in the manual, you can reach out to us. We’re happy to discuss your furnace and help you get confident in the process of changing furnace filters in San Marcos, TX.
How Often Furnace Filters Should Be Changed
When your furnace is experiencing heavy use, during the winter, the furnace filter should be changed monthly. It’s also a good idea to change it monthly if there is an unusually high level of dust in your home, for example, if there’s dusty construction across the street or your pet is shedding heavily. At other times, the filter can be changed every three months.
At Thayer Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 priority! Contact us today.