If your furnace isn’t running as well as it should, several reasons can cause this to happen. One reason is an old air filter. Replacing your air filter can offer better airflow, lower your energy bills, and maintain a healthy furnace. Replacing your furnace air filter is a simple step that can extend the life of your HVAC system.
What Is the Purpose of A Furnace Air Filter?
The furnace air filter is an essential part of your system that helps collect dirt and dust so it doesn’t enter your system or your home. Once the filter traps visible and hidden contaminants, it keeps them from damaging your heating and cooling system. This helps improve your home’s air quality and reduces the risk of illness in your home.
Furnace air filter replacement is an essential step for your HVAC system. Without proper maintenance, your system may experience a shorter lifespan and need more frequent repairs. Dirty filters not only clog your system with buildup, but they can also reduce the life of your furnace. Clogged filters make your system work harder by placing extra stress on the components. The system runs at short intervals, known as short cycling, instead of a full-length cycle, leading to damage.
How to Change a Furnace Air Filter
Many people think the purpose of a furnace air filter is to improve the air quality of the home. While this is true, the main purpose is to enhance the quality of the furnace itself. Changing your air filters will help prevent damage and extend its lifespan. There are several furnace air filter sizes and options that your local HVAC professional can help you choose.
Regardless of the type you’re using, the method is the same. Follow the steps when you’re ready to change your furnace air filter.
1. Locate the Air Filter
Knowing the location is essential to learning how to replace the air filter in your furnace. This is especially helpful if you have more than one location in your home. In most homes, they are either in the return air register or the air handler cabinet. Once you have the location, turn off your HVAC unit. This will prevent dust and dirt from blowing into your home while you replace the filter.
2. Learn Your Filter Size
Locating and then learning your furnace’s air filter size is an important part of learning about your furnace. Most filters have the size printed on them, but if you’re not sure, you can find the size in your owner’s manual. The last option is to measure the length, width, and height with a tape measure.
3. Remove the Old and Install the New
Once you determine the size of your filter, the last step is to remove the old filter and install the new one. Remove the air filter panel and throw out your old filter, paying careful attention to which way the air filter goes in the furnace. You will notice an arrow pointing in the direction of the airflow. This arrow usually points toward your furnace.
When you install the new filter, adjust it so that the arrow points toward the furnace, allowing for proper airflow. It’s helpful to write the date you changed the filter to help you know the best time to install the next one.
Signs You Need to Change Your Air Filter
The time frame of air filter changes is different for every system. However, a general rule is to change your filters every two-six months, depending on your air quality and how often you use them. When you buy filters, the manufacturer usually provides a recommended time frame for filter changes. Your local HVAC service can also provide a more accurate time frame that meets your system’s needs. They can also recommend the best furnace air filter for your system.
It’s tough to know the best time to change your air filters. Here are a few common signs that can help you know it’s time to check if you need a filter change.
Poor Air Quality
Strange sounds and smells in your home often indicate poor air quality. Check your furnace air filter first if you notice these around your air vents. You may notice dirt and grime buildup on the filter, preventing proper airflow in your home. Dirty air filters can also lead to breathing issues as bacteria grows, especially in more humid climates.
Your System Is Working Too Hard
If you notice your system is working too hard, changing your filter is time. You can tell your furnace is working hard if it runs several short cycles instead of longer ones. A furnace that runs too hard or too long can lead to repairs and early breakdown.
Higher Energy Bills
It’s important to recognize your normal energy bill costs so you can determine when something seems off. If you notice higher than normal bills, it could mean your furnace isn’t operating at the best capacity. Dirty air filters cause the system to work harder, producing more energy that increases your costs. If you notice a higher energy bill, replace your air filter to see if that’s the reason.
Contact Mission Comfort For Service Today
When you need help with your furnace air filter in Waldorf, Maryland, contact the team at Mission Comfort for services. We can inspect your system and provide furnace maintenance to help extend the life of your system. Call us for service today.