Many homeowners don’t know a lot about their HVAC system, such as where key equipment like the furnace is located. If you don’t know where the furnace is, you can’t handle routine furnace maintenance tasks like checking the furnace air filter. This and other simple chores can improve your furnace’s energy efficiency. It’ll also help reduce the risk of damage or a malfunction.
Most furnaces are located in the center of your home, either in a special utility closet or down in the basement. If your home doesn’t have a basement, it might also be in a crawl space or the attic. You may find other equipment like the water heater or your washing machine nearby.
Once you’ve found where your furnace is, the next step is to locate the furnace filter.
You’ll most often find the air filter inside the blower compartment, which is accessible through a metal door or hatch on the bottom half of the furnace. It can also be in a sliding compartment near the air handler component of your furnace or on a rack placed on the furnace’s side. It will be located in a place where it can collect dust, pollen and other airborne particles as they make their way through your HVAC system.
Over time, the furnace filter accumulates more and more particles. At a certain point it will reduce airflow and could affect your home’s indoor air quality as well as your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. By consistently cleaning or replacing the filter, you’ll keep everything working more effectively.
Fortunately, you don’t need years of HVAC experience to know how to change a furnace filter. In fact, it’s one of the simplest tasks you can do to help encourage the best performance from your HVAC system. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start:
Ultimately, knowing how often to change your furnace filter depends on several things. Start with the model of the filter itself, as more efficient filters generally last longer. You’ll also want to think about your indoor air quality needs, the size of your family and number of pets as well as local pollution levels.
Basic filters suggest replacement every 1-2 months, or as short as 20-45 days each if you have multiple pets and someone in the house has allergies.
The quality of your furnace filter can have a big impact on your HVAC system’s overall efficiency as well as your home’s indoor air quality. The best way to confirm the quality of your furnace filter is its MERV rating. This stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and indicates the filter’s effectiveness at reducing the number of airborne particles in your home.
The [bigger|higher} the MERV rating, the better the filter will be. Ratings can be on a scale of 1-20, but this doesn’t mean you should try to find a furnace filter with a 20 MERV rating. In fact, many filters with ratings above 13 are often designed for hospitals or other buildings that need the safest, most hygienic conditions possible.
Neglecting to change your furnace filter isn’t the end of the world, but it can negatively affect how effective your HVAC system is. Furnaces need unobstructed airflow for efficient heating, and a dirty filter can slow that down. The longer you go without replacing it, however, the more likely problems can pop up that will require furnace repair. Here are a few of the most common:
Definitely not! Your furnace filter is still a key component for getting the most out of your HVAC system. You should always have a filter in place, even if you forget to replace it every now and then. A trusted service company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you keep up with routine furnace maintenance in the U.S. including replacing the air filter.
Student loan debt in the USA has been a growing issue for years. Today’s total student debt has reached some $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re contemplating your educational journey or giving advice to someone who is, it’s important to weigh... Continue reading
If you’d like to replace your old furnace, don’t assume that a new furnace is your only choice. This may be the preferred choice for most North American homeowners, but heat pumps are steadily growing in popularity. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore... Continue reading
If you’re considering an upgrade to your furnace, an important first step is to settle on an efficiency rating. This will impact your up-front costs and what you pay for home heating down the road. With this handy guide, you’ll understand more about AFUE ratings and how they affect... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.