We’re sure you’ve heard it said again and again, “Change your furnace air filters regularly.” You may have heard it so much you are sick of it. But did you know that there is more than one reason to change your furnace air filter on a regular basis?
We know you understand that air filters reduce the amount of contaminants in your air so that the quality of your air is good enough for you to stay healthy, but what you may not realize is that the first and foremost purpose of a filter in your furnace is to protect the machinery from damage done by airborne particles. The cleaner air you will breathe is just an outcome of the original purpose the filters were created to serve.
The dust, dirt, debris, dander, pollen, mold and mildew spores, and more that you hear about in air contamination also serve another damaging function. They accumulate in your furnace system and damage the machinery.
Your furnace is made up of many moving mechanical parts that need to stay clean in order to function properly. Over time, dirty parts will completely destroy any mechanical system that isn’t specifically manufactured to avoid the issue. Since the furnace must take in air and pass it through a system and back out again, there’s no way to make them where they’re dust or contaminant proof.
The filter is there to trap these airborne monsters before they settle into the mechanical parts of the furnace. This also keeps them from getting into your associated air ducts. Using clean filters will extend the lifespan of your furnace by years and will improve it’s overall efficiency.
Air filters are rated by efficiency and some provide features that others don’t, so when you choose which filter you want, pay attention to the type of contaminants the filter can trap or get rid of.
Washable filters offer you a way to clean the filters and reuse them, so that is an option for you as well. However, be careful because the manufacturer of your furnace may have built the furnace to accept only one specific filter.
You’ll need to stay on track with keeping your filters changed. It does no good to allow a filter to accumulate six months worth of debris and dust yet not change it out. It would likely be better to remove the filter all together than to keep using a filthy one. The dirty filter will only block the air flow and cause your furnace to labor. This alone puts a huge stress on the system.
Also, be sure that the area around your air intake for your furnace is not blocked off with anything like furniture, material or clothing, curtains, boxes, bookshelves, or anything else. The air needs to freely flow so that your furnace isn’t unnecessarily laboring.
Be sure when you change out the filter to turn off the furnace. If the air is suctioning in while you’re trying to replace the old one, it or the debris can get loosened and fly up through the intake.
It is a fact that some furnaces provide such good suction that the filter itself can fly out of your hands and get crumpled up into the intake hole, while this is rarer in residential settings it can easily happen with larger units. So be sure the furnace is off and not pulling in air.
If there’s anything you need to know or want to know about changing your air filters to avoid future furnace repairs, just give our technicians a call and we’ll be happy to help you.