Checking your furnace filter may be the single most important task you do this winter to lower your heating bills while keeping your home comfortable and safe. A dirty furnace filter sets the stage for high energy bills and can shorten the life of your heating equipment. It can also lead to poor indoor air quality.Dirt on the air filter slows the passage of air through the furnace blower, which makes the heat exchanger stay warm longer than the manufacturer intended. Eventually, in a worst-case scenario, the heat exchanger weakens and cracks can form. These cracks can allow carbon monoxide to escape into your home’s air, creating a potentially deadly situation. Less serious but a problem all the same, a clogged filter will force your furnace to work harder to deliver heated air to your home. This wastes energy and leads to system breakdowns.
Checking your filter monthly will help you prevent these and other problems. You can tell when to change the filter by holding it up to light and trying to see through it. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to change it.
The replacement filter should be the exact size as the old one. If you don’t see the dimensions printed on it when checking your furnace filter, use a tape measure to find its exact measurements. The filter must fit tightly in the frame in order for it to trap all the particles before they enter the furnace.
Another way to reduce the amount of particulate matter in the air entering the furnace is to choose a better filter. The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating makes a difference in your indoor air. The scale for residential filters runs from 1 to 16, and higher numbers indicate better efficiency. For most home heating systems, an air filter between 8 and 12 MERV offers a good balance between maintaining good indoor air quality and optimum system airflow.
If you’d like more information about checking your furnace filter and other options for improved furnace performance, please contact us at Climate Control Company. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for western Colorado since 1956.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
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