You’re enjoying a relaxing evening at home after a long day. The weather outside is frightful, but that’s no concern of yours inside the warming comfort of your home. That is until your furnace goes out. Now you’re frantically making phone calls to have it fixed or replaced as soon as possible, because the temperature in your home is now starting to match the winter weather outside. It’s true that a furnace and AC unit will inevitably need to be replaced; no unit lasts forever, but proper and regular maintenance, such as consistently replacing your air filters, will help your unit work less and will prolong its life.
It’s easy to become complacent when it comes to maintaining your home. Why worry when everything appears to be working just fine? It’s natural to take care of something when it is not performing up to standard, but it’s equally important to care for things that are working just fine. That’s why we get regular oil changes and rotate the tires for our cars. Our homes also require routine maintenance that will help prevent unwanted disasters. Changing your air filter is one precaution you should always take.
An air filter is a critical component to your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). It will keep pollution and debris from entering into your HVAC system. Over time, your air filter will get dirty and covered with pollutants and debris. A dirty air filter will slow down the airflow in your home causing your heating and AC unit to work harder for your home. Not only will you not get optimal heating and cooling in your home, but you will begin to significantly decrease the life of your HVAC system. Replacing your dirty air filter with a new clean filter will prevent this from happening.
The frequency for changing your air filter can vary depending on the manufacturer of your unit. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer recommendations for you unit. Generally speaking, you should replace your air filter once every three months, though there are some units that recommend replacing the filter as frequently as once per month.
Here are some general rules to keep in mind when replacing your air filter:
1) Make sure you buy the right sized filter. Consult your unit’s manual for your filter’s size specifications.
2) Turn off the unit before replacing the filter. If you’re unsure how to do so, just switch off the breaker temporarily.
3) Remove old filter. Most filters are located on the right side of the unit and they should slide out without much difficulty.
4) Place your new filter. There are arrows on the filter that will indicate which side faces the outside air. Be sure to follow those indicators.
Changing your central heat and air filter is a simple task. The important thing is to remember to do it with consistency. Write reminders on a calendar, refrigerator, or set a reminder in your phone so that you don’t forget. Doing so will give you cleaner air to breathe as well as make your HVAC system last much longer.