Are you avoiding the inevitable need to change your furnace filter? Is it one of those tedious tasks that you feel you wish not to undertake because you are no master of mechanical ability? Well, you can stop worrying and change your furnace filter in a matter of a few minutes, and in just 3 simple and easy to follow steps. You might think that changing your furnace filter is more of hassle than it is worth, but in reality, your heater’s filter is a very important piece of household property. Properly cleaned furnace filters can not only protect the respiratory health of your family by filtering harmful and agitating substances out of the air, but it can also help your furnace to run more efficiently due to an open airflow, not only saving you money, but also reducing the risk of a home fire as a result of a clogged filter.
You should check your air filters for blockage at least once a month, especially if you use continuous heat throughout the winter season. While people still use disposable fiberglass filters, the reusable filters that are out on the market have several advantages over the old, use once and throw away fiberglass filters. They are dependable, are inexpensive (under $50), and as they can be easily washed and reused, save you money, as well as lightening the environmental impact that disposable products present. In no time you should see an increase in your furnaces efficiency (and thus lower bills), and without the need to buy a new filter for every filter change, you should see a direct financial gain from the use of reusable furnace filters.
Now that you can see the need of changing your furnace filter when you should, and the benefits of using a reusable filter as opposed to the disposable fiberglass filters, I will run through the quick and easy 3 step method of changing your old filter out for a new one.
Number one – cut the juice! Never work on any electronic or gas powered appliance without first disconnecting the power and fuel sources. You don’t want your first furnace filter maintenance job to be your last.
Number two – Locate and open your furnaces maintenance service panel. You might want to refer to your furnace user manual to see if you need any tools for this task. Some furnace doors open by hand, while others are screwed in or fastened in another way to keep unauthorized hands and heads out and away from danger. You may need a screwdriver or other simple tool.
Number three – Locate the object that looks like a spongy piece of paneling or other large rectangular object with a width of 1″ or slightly more. This is your furnace filter. Pull it out and see if it needs to be cleaned if you use washable furnace filters or replaced if you use disposable furnace filters. Hold it up to a lamp, window, or other light source. If you can’t see through the filter, then it is time for action. If it does not need replacing, then reinsert it, close the furnace up, and reconnect your electric (and also the gas if you have a gas fueled heater), or you can continue with the cleaning or replacement process. You can never clean or replace your filters too often, but if you fail to maintain them, you can run into serious problems. If you are using a fiberglass filter, buy the exact same make and model of filter for replacement as you removed, and follow the entire process discussed earlier, only in reverse. If you are using a reusable filter, you do not even have to head for the store, just take a garden hose or other water source (preferably outdoors), and clean the filter of all dirt and debris before replacing it instead of purchasing a new furnace filter. Make sure to let the clean filter dry completely before reinserting into your heater, to insure greater efficiency and to lessen the risk of causing immediate re-clogging.
That’s all there is to it. 3 simple steps, ten minutes tops. Relax and enjoy the warmth.