Changing Furnace Filters

furnaceDuring the heating season the filter on your furnace is what helps keep the air in your home cleaner.

Furnace filters need to be changed on a regular schedule.  How often your filter needs to be changed depends on a number of factors.  If your home has pets or someone in the home is a smoker then you will need to change filters more often.

The type filter you are using in your furnace will determine how often it needs changing.

Regardless of the type filter you use you should inspect it on a monthly basis during heating season.  If the filter appears clogged and dirty it is time for a change.  Over time you will learn how often the filter in your furnace will need to be changed.

There are permanent type filters with some furnace units and these need to be taken out and cleaned/washed thoroughly and then reinserted into the furnace.

There are the inexpensive fiber filters that have been used for many years.  These are usually one inch thick and have a wide space between fibers.  These filters do not stop the very small particles which can contribute to lung damage.  However, they do protect the furnace from damage from large particles.  These filters often need changing on a monthly basis.  If soot and debris clog these filters the air probably can still get through.  In fact, the debris on the filter may help keep out smaller particles from the furnace.

There are newer much more efficient and more expensive furnace filters now on the market.  These filters are pleated and look like felt.  These high efficiency filters remove more of the damaging particles in the air.  Their electrostatic charge works like a magnet to capture smaller particles.  The manufacturers recommend inspecting these filters monthly and changing them if they look dark or clogged.  Otherwise, change them at least every three months.

With the high efficiency filters if you operate your furnace with a dirty filter the air flow is going to be restricted.  The restricted air flow will cause your furnace to run longer.  Running the furnace longer is going to add to the cost of your gas or electric bill.

Whatever type filter you decide to use in your furnace remember to check it monthly and change it as needed to keep your system running efficiently.