Furnace Filter Replacements

When furnace filters become clogged with residue from dirt, pollen, pet dander and other airborne particles, an HVAC system is unable to work efficiently. Dirty filters restrict airflow within the unit, causing a longer wait period to heat or cool the home. This longer process requires more energy, inevitably raising utility bills and in the long run, unchanged filters shorten the life span of your furnace unit.

Unchanged air filters can also lead to various health problems, and as the winter months quickly approach, homeowners should begin questioning the status of their filters. It is crucial to both your home and family that the filter be checked monthly and changed regularly. Typically it is recommended that a filter be changed every three months. But first, homeowners must be able to locate their furnace filter and know how to properly change it.

In order to change your filter, you must first search for the service panel on the furnace, typically found on the lower front or side of the furnace. After turning off the furnace, remove the panel door and locate the filter.

The filter is a mesh screen typically located near the blower compartment, but location will vary with the installation of the furnace. In some cases, the furnace will have a filter in the central return grill. Be sure to check both the return air duct and the central return grill for filters, as filters should not be installed in both locations.

When changing the filter in an upflow furnace, both the top and bottom door must be removed. After installation, it is necessary to ensure that the bottom door is over the furnace frame to engage the safety switch.

In a downflow furnace, the filter will be located in the upper blower compartment. The system requires two filters, commonly forming a v-shape. Again, upon reinstallation the top door must go over the furnace frame to engage the safety switch.

Once the filter in your unit has been located, remove the filter and check for buildup on the screen. If the screen is a reusable plastic or metal frame, thoroughly rinse away the residue and allow the filter to dry before placing it back into the furnace. If the filter in the furnace is a disposable cardboard frame filter, document the measurements to purchase a new filter and dispose of the used one. When installing the new filter, always be sure that the airflow arrows are pointing towards the blower motor.

One of the easiest things homeowners can do to avoid costly repairs to their unit is to frequently change and clean the air filters in their units. By checking the filters monthly and replacing filters as needed, homeowners are able to rest assured knowing their unit is functioning efficiently, providing better air quality for their home as well as energy efficiency within their unit.

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