Changing a Furnace Filter

furnace filters hamiltonA key task that must be done before winter hits is change the furnace filter.  Even though it will only take roughly ten seconds to change it, most homeowners fail to do this. It can be out of neglect, or they simply forget.

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Not changing your furnace filter can have devastating effects on the air quality inside your home. It is extremely important to either change the furnace filter yourself (which is quite easy), or have a professional do it for you.

Significance of a Furnace Filter

The initial filters of a furnace were intended to shield the components on the interior of the unit. It efficiently collects the dirt, dust and debris that has accumulated inside so that they don’t trigger mechanical problems. Nowadays, modern furnaces do both air purification and ensuring that the HVAC system is in tip-top shape.

Inside the furnace, the blower fan draws air toward the return ductwork and is later warmed by the heat exchanger (in air-conditioners, the evaporator coil cools down the same air). The filter, located in the return ductwork, seizes all the dust and debris while only letting clean and pure air reach the blower fan and other essential components inside. Moreover, filters restrict the amount of dust and dirt that can build up near a pilot light or ignitors that can potentially cause a fire. The filter also efficiently distributes clean and pure air inside the home, minus all the dust mites, dirt, pollens, pet dander, molds, and the likes inside your home.

Identifying the Filter

Furnaces are usually in your home’s utility room, such as the basement, closet, garage or even the attic. The three main types of air filters for furnaces are:

  • Standard 1” – most furnaces utilize the usual square filter that is 19-1/2” X 19-1/2” X ¾” that will be eventually on sale as a 20” X 20” X 1” filter. It fits perfectly the 1” slot where the return duct goes through into the main control section.
  • Media Filter – other furnaces make use of a thicker filter around 4” to 6” situated in the air cleaner cabinet.
  • Grille Filters – are found on return air grilles usually found on the wall or the ceiling since it is not the standard choice. There’s a 1” filter grille on the hinge of this enclosure.

Replacing the Filter

The next course of action is to figure out what kind of replacement is suitables after finding your old filter, and then proceed to install it with a new one.

Installing the new filter is not at all complicated. The first thing that must be done is to ensure everything is safe by turning off the power in the furnace. It is also needed to avoid dust getting into its delicate parts. After that, it is simply just taking out the old filter and sliding a new one into the same slot. And then, you’re all set.

You’ll know which way to install the new filter by paying attention to the arrows indicated outside. Since the blower is the last defense in trapping debris, a filter’s firm or rough side is placed near it.

They say practice makes perfect, so do it regularly and you’ll reap the benefits of having a clean filter all the time with regards to your health and lower energy bills.