Dust bunnies attacking from every direction? Allergies hitting harder than Mayweather? It may be time to change your furnace filter. Changing your furnace filter is not only the quickest, but also the easiest way to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system, and purify your home’s air.
Most of the air in your home cycles through your HVAC system, making your furnace filter your first line of defense against an array of airborne particles. Depending on the quality of your filter, it can protect you from breathing in everything from dirt and dust to pollen, mildew and mold spores.
The most basic type of filter is a fiberglass furnace filter. These types of filters are the most inexpensive. Fiberglass filters are typically 1-2 inches thick, and are held within a cardboard frame. This type of filter traps larger dust and dirt particles, and needs to be changed every 1-2 months.
The next step up from a fiberglass filter, is a disposable pleated paper filter. The pleated design of these filters helps with removing smaller particles from the air, like dust and dirt, as well as pollen. These types of filters should be changed every 4-6 months.
The most expensive, and most effective, type of filter is the reusable electrostatic filter. These filters are designed to trap not only smaller airborne particles, but also smoke. This type of filter needs cleaned every 4-6 weeks, but if properly maintained will last several years.
Certain types of both disposable and reusable filters also can be rated as “antimicrobial” or “high-efficiency particulate air” (HEPA). These types of filters are friends to those with allergies. They are specially treated to allow them to trap microorganisms such as, bacteria, mildew, fungus, mold, yeast, and algae.
Changing a furnace filter
It is always a good to check your own manual, but in most cases the steps for changing out your filter are simple.
1- Turn off your furnace.
2- Locate the service panel, and remove it.
3- Slide out the existing filter, near the intake/ outtake blower fan.
4- Replace with new, clean filter.
5- Turn your furnace back on.