The house is getting dustier, your family is feeling the sniffles, has watery eyes, and pet dander is floating through the home. This is when you know it’s time to change your furnace air filter.
During every season there is one maintenance project to never ignore and that is your furnace filter. Typically, you should expect to change your dirty furnace filter every three months.
The furnace filter should be checked even more frequent, about once a month, in times when:
- The family is home more often and breathing in the indoor air
- Someone in the family has allergies or asthma
- Peak winter and summer months when the HVAC system is operating most frequently
- Dogs or cats are in the home, or if the pet has allergies
The furnace filter should be checked at least every three months or 90 days for buildup and debris levels of dust, dirt, hair, and mold. When you are checking the filter to replace it, there are a few key things to check for:
- The home has more dust than usual
- The furnace or air conditioning unit is running more frequently than normal
- There are odd odors coming from your furnace or air conditioning unit
- There’s an increase in allergy symptoms among household members
Six steps to replacing the furnace filter:
Locate your furnace:
It’s possible your furnace could be located in many different areas within your home. These possible locations include the:
- Or closet
Turn off your furnace:
In most cases there is an electrical disconnect within the vicinity of the furnace. Turn this switch to the off position to ensure that the furnace will not energize when you are replacing the filter. You can also turn your thermostat to the off position as well.
Locate the filter location:
There are three common types of furnaces that all have different filter locations.
- Horizontal Furnace – This is the unit that is shown in the video example with Andrew. This unit has a side filter that is slid into a rack or a door system.
- Vertical Furnace with air moving upwards – The filter will be on the bottom door located underneath or on the bottom half of the furnace. The filter is then installed laying flat.
- Vertical Furnace with air moving downward – The filter will be on the top door. Likely, this type of furnace will require two filters
Remove old filter and replace with new filter:
Replace the old filter with the new one of the same size and discard of the old filter. Close the latches for the horizontal furnace system and for the vertical furnace system, reattach the doors.
Changing your filter is valuable to not only you furnace and its longevity, but your family’s health as well. By changing your filter you will enjoy these benefits:
- A higher efficient furnace and air conditioning system
- Comfort due to higher air flow in the home
- Increase the lifespan of your furnace
- Cleaning and keeping the air in your home clean through filtering particles in the air filter
Turn your furnace back on:
Once the filter has been changed and the doors have been reattached and shut, flip the electrical disconnect switch back to the on position and turn the thermostat to the on position as well.
Enjoy clean air in your home!
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