Those sticky notes come in handy for a myriad of reasons, and this winter, when your furnace is out of sight and out of mind, post a sticky note on your refrigerator to remind yourself to check your furnace filter every four weeks and replace it at least once every three months. After all, this is not only the season to be jolly, but the season when your furnace will be working the hardest and longest.
Ideally, you should have a spare filter on hand — always a good idea since, depending on your climate and other environmental conditions, you could be replacing your furnace filter every few weeks or every few months.
Whatever your rotation, keep these five tips in mind:
- First, turn off the electrical power to your furnace.
- Locate the filter. Usually it can be found in one of three places: (1) The compartment that contains the blower, (2) In an attached filter case/cabinet beside your heating unit, or (3) in a return air grille mounted in the wall or ceiling.
- Remove the grille or open the panel door. You can usually do this by hand (no tools necessary). Occasionally, you will need a 1/4″ or 5/6″ Nut Driver.
- Remove the filter — a mesh screen or cotton-like cartridge that is installed either horizontally or vertically. Inspect it for dirt by holding it up to sunlight or by shining a flashlight behind it. If you can’t see through it, it’s time for a new one.
- Slide in the new filter and close the grille or panel door. For good measure, vacuum around the area and always make sure the arrow drawn on the filter points in the direction of the air flow. Air always flows from the filter cabinet or return air grill towards the heating unit.
The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes, but don’t judge the value of the exercise by the minimal time commitment. By changing your filter regularly, you are ensuring that your furnace doesn’t have to work any harder than necessary. When a filter gets clogged, and stays clogged, a furnace works harder and burns up more energy, thereby costing you more money. In the very worst cases, a simple thing like a clogged filter can lead to expensive repairs, and even cause a major furnace breakdown.
Reach for another sticky note to remind yourself to call the experts at Aladdin Heating and Cooling. We welcome your questions about furnace filters and every other proactive step you can take this winter to keep your heating bills in check.
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.
Aladdin Heating & Cooling services the Detroit, Michigan and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!