Furnaces And Filters: What You Need To Know

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As your furnace pulls outdoor air into the appliance, it relies on filters to filter out dirt, dust and other impurities floating around in the air. However, while the filter is important, you may not know much about it, especially if you have never lived in a home with a furnace before. Here are some things you should know about a furnace's filter.

Signs a Filter Needs to Be Replaced

There are many factors that come into play when determining how often you should change your filter. The air quality where you live, how often you run your furnace and whether you are using high-efficiency filter or not play a roll. Depending on all of these factors, you may need to replace your filter every month or every three months. However, if you forget to do it, or don't do it soon enough, your furnace will give you signs that the filter needs to be replaced.

One of the signs that the filter needs to be replaced is your furnace is taking longer to heat your home than normal. This is because less air can pass through a dirty filter, and your furnace is having to work harder and longer to heat the air. Another sign that the filter needs to be replaced is inefficient heating in your home. If your furnace is running but your home isn't heating up, your filter may need to be replaced. The last sign is more dust than usual is accumulating in your home. This is because the dirty filter may be dropping dust into the furnace, causing it to blow dirty air into your home. If you notice any of these signs, replace the filter.

How to Replace the Filter

Replacing a furnace filter is easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. Follow these steps to replace the filter in your furnace:

  1. Turn the furnace off and allow it to cool. Furnaces are very hot and you can burn yourself if you touch it before it cools.
  2. Locate the filter compartment. The compartment will either be in a door near the bottom of your furnace or in a compartment located near the top of your furnace depending on whether you have a down flow or up flow furnace. Once you have located the compartment, simply open the door.
  3. Slowly begin to slide the old filter out. Before you remove the filter completely, take note of whether the arrows on the filter are positioned toward the inside of the furnace or the outside. Remove the filter completely and discard it.
  4. Remove your new furnace from its packaging and find the arrows on the furnace. Position the filter so the arrows match the same position your old ones were in. Slide the furnace into place.
  5. Shut the compartment door and turn your furnace back on.

What Factors to Consider When Selecting a Filter

When you buy a filter, it is important that you buy the right sized filter for your furnace. When you remove the old filter, the dimension will be clearly displayed on it. However, aside from the size, you should pay attention to the minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV. MERV values generally start at four and range up to a 12. The higher the MERV value, the more efficient the filter is at removing impurities from the air. Also, look at whether the filter is pleated or not. Pleated filters last a bit longer than non-pleated filters, because they have more space to hold impurities before they become full. Lastly, take into account the price of the filter, especially if you are on a budget. Furnaces filters vary in price based on what materials they are made from and their MERV.

If you have never lived in a home with furnace before, or have never had to maintain one yourself, you may be unfamiliar with the filter in a furnace. Keeping it clean helps your furnace run efficiently, while keeping the air coming into your home clean. Learning the signs that indicate when a filter needs to be replaced, how to replace it and what to consider when selecting a filter will help you to better understand why a filter is important and how to care for your furnace filter. For more information, consider sites like http://rbincorporated.com/

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26 January 2016

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