Many homeowners understand the importance of preventive maintenance; however, an effective maintenance schedule involves not only annual furnace tune-ups performed by a heating technician, but also regularly checking the system’s air filter. In fact, changing the air filter might just be the most important step you can take. The benefits of doing so include:
- System health – Most experts agree that a dirty filter is the primary contributor to furnace failure. As dirt builds up in the filter, two things happen: Dirt eventually bypasses the filter, reaching the furnace’s interior components; and dirt in the filter restricts the airflow necessary for the furnace to operate. Over time, dirt and restricted airflow place undue stress on the components, leading to a breakdown.
- Efficiency – Before a breakdown occurs, furnace efficiency becomes compromised, as reduced airflow and the presence of dirt creates friction among components, which raises energy consumption.
- Savings – When dirt build-up is left unchecked, and as the efficiency of your furnace wanes, you’ll notice energy bills start to climb.
You can avoid the potential problems that a dirty filter creates simply by changing the air filter regularly. Because filters used in furnaces vary, follow the manufacturer’s or your HVAC contractor’s recommendations for how often to change the filter. On average, homeowners should check the air filter every month, changing it out when it looks dirty.
Methods to help you remember it’s time for a filter change
If you’re one of those people that needs help remembering to change the filter, consider these options:
- Involve your thermostat. Some programmable thermostats offer a filter-change reminder, which signals an alert after a pre-set number of system operating hours.
- Install an indicator. Installed at the furnace blower, this gauge reads the system’s airflow or pressure as dirt buildup on the filter grows.
- Set your calendar. For a no-cost way to ensure that you change your filter, set a monthly event on your calendar.
If you need to schedule preventive maintenance, or if you would like to ask a question about changing out your air filter, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing today. We help homeowners throughout Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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