Home Maintenance Tips: Furnace Filters

Whether you own your home or are currently renting a single-family home, you are responsible for changing the air filter in your home’s furnace. Changing the filter not only makes sure the air in your home is clean, but also prevents damage to the furnace which is the number one reason for furnace-related service calls. Follow along to learn the skills you need to make sure your furnace, and the air heating and cooling your home, are nice and healthy all year long.

How do furnaces work?
The furnace in your home is simple and complex at the same time. To put it simply your furnace takes in air from a return duct, heats it up, and then pushes it back through the ducts in to the rooms of your home. When the temperature in your home reaches the desired level the furnace fans are shut off. In the summer the furnace acts the same way but with the hot air, working with an outdoor AC unit that helps cool off the air and blast it through your home.

What are furnace filters?
The major goal of the furnace filter is to keep debris such as hair, dust, and other contaminants from reaching your furnace blower fan as this will cause build-ups and could lead to a service call. The result of having a good furnace filter is not just a protected furnace blower fan, but it also means cleaner air inside your home. By removing all the particles and contaminants from the air before they reach the furnace blower fan, it stops them from being recirculated in to your home or stuck to the fan.

What happens if I do not change my filter?
So, considering that the main job of the furnace filter is to stop debris from reaching the furnace’s blower fan, it is safe to assume that all the gunk is being trapped in the filter. Over time, as the filter traps more and more debris, the air can flow less and less and eventually you begin to basically deprive your furnace of air. Almost like a person having asthma. Sometimes higher rated filters can do the same thing by not allowing enough air to pass through. This will make the furnace work in double time and could lead to malfunctions or service calls. Be sure and double check the information listed on the furnace for a possible maximum MERV rating. If you have any questions at all contact us and we will be glad to help you!

How do I change my furnace filter?
Changing the filter in your home’s furnace is actually an extremely simple process, however sometimes locating the filter can be a challenge. Normally the filter is located in the furnace’s return air vent and covered by a plate with a screw. Start by turning off your furnace, then locate the the air filter’s access panel. Once you remove the screw and the cover plate you can see the air filter. If you do not know how to locate your furnace filter, please contact us now and we can help you. Once you can see your air filter it is VERY important to note the direction of the air flow. There is always an arrow printed somewhere on the furnace and on the furnace filter that shows the direction of the air flow. It is also equally important to note the size of the filter so you can be sure and get the correct size in your replacement. Remove the old filter and put in the new one making sure the arrow is facing the same direction. Put the cover plate back on, and screw it in to position. Then turn your furnace back on. Job well done.

Your home is much like a member of your family. There are daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance tasks required to make sure everything continues to run smoothly. If you have a rental home from Buckeye Northwest Realty then we handle a lot of the headaches for you, however the furnace filter is one of the things on your list of maintenance tasks. So make an alarm on your phone for every 60 days (to be safe) to change your furnace filter. This will ensure your furnace has a longer life and that the air in your home is the best possible quality. And most importantly if you ever have any questions about your rental home from Buckeye Northwest Realty, contact us as soon as possible.

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