Though they aren’t often considered a major player in the efficiency of your heating system, furnace filters actually play an important role and should not be neglected. Neglecting them can lead to higher heating costs and less comfort for you and your family.
Changing your filters regularly is highly important. When they become oversaturated with captured dust, pollen and other debris, they are less effective at stopping new pollutants from getting circulated through your house. This lowers your overall indoor air quality and means that you are left to deal with dust mites, mold, pollen and other dangerous allergens in your home’s air.
It is also harder for air to pass through a dirty filter. To compensate for this, your heating system will use more energy to push the air through. This strong push of air often results in some of the captured debris coming dislodged and getting circulated through your air. This too means worse indoor air quality and higher energy costs.
Even a filter with a high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) will be rendered ineffective if not replaced regularly. Most need to be changed monthly, but check your manufacturer’s recommendations to see what your filter calls for.
Some furnace filters are meant to be washed, not replaced. Before you take it out to wash it, be sure to turn off your heating system. There are a number of filter cleaning products available, but soap and water will work just as well. Never attempt to hand-wash a filter meant to be replaced, as even the slightest damage will ruin its efficiency.
Installing a filter properly is key to its efficiency. Bypass leakage can occur if it is not in airtight. Some filters come equipped with a gasket to help you make sure it is as tight as possible so that no air will leak past the filter, bringing harmful pollutants with it.
To learn more about furnace filters and how they affect your efficiency, contact Ernst Heating & Coolingtoday. We have proudly served the Edwardsville area since 1954.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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