Part of good furnace maintenance entails knowing how often to change an air filter and how to do it. Although the rule of thumb is to change air filters once every three months, it’s likely that you’ll need to inspect and change your air filter at least once a month during periods of heavy usage. During the winter season, consumers run their heating systems continually, and dirt and debris can build up quickly on the filters. Clogged and dirty air filters impede airflow and put excessive stress on the internal components of a heating system. Dirty air filters often cause the heat exchanger to overheat and turn off too soon. It also causes soot buildup on the heat exchanger. This reduces the efficiency of the unit and shortens its lifespan.
How to Change a Dirty Air Filter
Typically, furnace filters are located in the blower compartment. Whenever you change an air filter in the blower compartment, the main circuit breaker should be turned off. Up flow furnaces and down flow furnaces house its air filter in the blower compartment bottom door. With both of these type furnaces, you’ll have to remove the door. Be sure when you re-install the door that is goes over the furnace frame securely to engage the safety switch. If you don’t, the furnace won’t turn on. Most horizontal furnaces and air handlers have a slide-in furnace rack built right into the furnace. Once you’ve located the filter compartment, you just need to slide out the old one and slide the new one in. Just be sure that the airflow points face the furnace. You can also use your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to change your furnace’s air filter. If you’ve misplaced your owner’s manual, most manufactures have websites where you can download and print out the instructions for easy reference.
Types of Air Filters
Air Filters range in efficiency and price and are rated by the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) scale. Most residential air filters range from MERV 4 to 12. Keep in mind that it’s important to choose one that maintains the furnace manufacturer’s specified airflow. This way, you’ll maximize the blower motor and heat exchanger lifespans and achieve maximum energy efficiency. A MERV 4 filter will capture 80 percent of large particles but only 25 percent of particles in the smaller micron range. The MERV 7 and 8 pleated filters trap from 80 to 95 percent of smaller particles. These filters are a good balance of filtration efficiency and cost for most households.
HVAC Services at Airforce Heating & Air in LaGrange, GA
At Airforce Heating & Air, we carry and install a wide range of top brand furnaces that are energy efficient. Our NATE-certified technicians are well-known for their perfect installations. If you’re ready to upgrade with an energy efficient furnace, you can take advantage of our zero-interest financing plans. You don’t even need a down payment. Be sure to call us for a free in-home quote.