Changing the furnace filter in your home every month gives you the best results regarding air quality and circulation through your home. Switching out the filter is inexpensive, easy, and you can do it yourself once you know where to find it.
Keeping a clean filter or screen in your HVAC makes a big difference. But many people tend to overlook this easy way to keep your heating and cooling running smoothly.
Then, when we get a call because something’s wrong — usually the heater’s not turning on, or you’re noticing weak airflow through the vents — we pull out a screen that’s dirty and clogged.
And if the problem hasn’t gone on too long, that’s all we need to do.
So, we’re taking a quick, yet close, look at your air filters in this article. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to change these out quickly — and upgrade the one you use if you want.
We’ll go over these common questions:
- What Your Furnace Filter Does
- Why Do You Need To Change Your Filter
- What Kind Of Filter To Buy For Your Heater
- How To Change Your Furnace Filter
Air Filter Replacement And HVAC Maintenance In Havertown, PA
Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the indoor quality or HVAC system in your Havertown, PA home, give us a call or email here at John Cipollone. We’re happy to help!
What Your Furnace Filter Does
Your furnace filter, or air filter, blocks all sorts of dirt, dust, and other junk in your vents from going through your furnace and spreading back through the rest of your home. It’s a cloth screen that sits between the heater and ducts and traps debris.
Most people think only about how their HVAC system blows heated or cooled air through the vents. But, your home also has return vents.
These vents draw in the air from all over your home. That air gets warmed or cooled and then recirculated through the house.
If the air from one room is dirty, then that dirt spreads through the rest of the house once it passes through the system — but only if the air filter isn’t there to catch it.
Why Do You Need To Change Your Filter
If you don’t change your furnace filter, eventually, it gets clogged. When that happens, it prevents air from passing through. You’ll notice weak circulation after a while. If you let it go long enough, your furnace won’t turn on at all.
The problem is that over time all that dirt and stuff builds up. Then, the air can’t pass through the clog. The less air that comes in, the less air your system pushes out.
At that point, you end up with heat backing up into the system. That causes the unit to overheat —- it’s made to push warm air out, not keep all that warmth in it.
Your furnace shuts down as a failsafe if it gets too hot. And, if it keeps overheating, it won’t turn on anymore.
If you’re noticing these problems, pull out the filter. If it’s grey, it’s been in there way too long. The cloth screen is white when you put it in.
Fortunately, replacing it with a new one is easy.
What Kind Of Filter To Buy For Your Heater
Any hardware store or big box chain carries standard furnace filters. You just need to know what size to get. And, you can use your old one to match it up. Each one costs around $10 and have a rating of up to MERV 8.
The MERV rating gives you an idea of what sort of things the filter will catch. It’s all based on size: The higher the MERV rating, the smaller particles you’ll trap.
This is where we mentioned upgrading before.
If you go with a screen with a higher MERV rating, you can filter out smaller particles. We’re talking the differences between dust and then pollen, mold spores, and bacteria.
You’ll see filters with MERV ratings up to 16, but you can’t go past MERV 12 for a residential unit. After that, the blower on your system isn’t strong enough to push the air past the screen. It’s the same as getting clogged.
How To Change Your Furnace Filter
Changing the filter is simple. There’s a slot where you can reach in and grab the old one to slide it out. Then, slide the new one in its place.
There’s nothing to unscrew, and even if the heater is running, you can wait until right after it turns off. That area doesn’t get too hot.
Which Way To Install The Air Filter
The one thing to note is which way to put the air filter in the furnace. At first glance, there’s no big difference between one side of the screen and the other. But, if you look closely, you’ll see a directional marking or arrow on it. That arrow should point toward the furnace.
This way, air flows properly through the ductwork, gets filtered, and continues into the heater.
HVAC Service In Havertown, PA
Air filter replacement is an easy task any homeowner can handle. But, you may have questions about upgrading to a stronger furnace filter or other concerns about the heating and cooling system in your Havertown, PA home.
If you do, call or email us at John Cippollone for any HVAC service or questions. We’ve served DelCo and Montgomery County for decades, and we’re ready to help you, too!