Air Filters – Changing with the Seasons
November 19, 2014
It seems that even though it is only mid-November, winter is here to stay. Colder-than-average temperatures and surprising amounts of snow have forced many indoors to begin their winter tradition of semi-hibernation.
All joking aside, winter is the season we spend the most time indoors and as we mentioned in our previous blog post, a bit of home maintenance can lead to better indoor air quality and better health during those long snowy evenings. One of the easiest ways to make sure the air in your home as clean as possible is by making sure you change your furnace’s air filter regularly.
A good rule of thumb is that you should change your air filter with the seasons; once every three months. This number can change depending on your household: do you have pets? Does someone in your house smoke? Dirty ducts can lead to your air filter needing replacement more often as well. Even the number of people living in your home can affect the longevity of a single filter. The best thing to do is check your filter regularly (once a month) the first few times you change it and replace it as needed until you figure out the average life cycle of an air filter in your home.
Now, why is it so important to change your air filter? The air filter in your furnace removes any heavy (and many medium) particles that might be floating around in your house. Heavy particles include things like lint and mold spores. Medium particles are things like dust and pet dander. Without the air filter these unpleasant things would be free to circulate through your house unimpeded. The air filter stops them in their tracks and helps make sure that the “bad stuff” that could be moving around in your home is kept to a minimum.
Naturally, as more air is forced through the filter, it becomes clogged with the particulates it is removing from your home. That is why it is best to keep an eye on the filter and change it as soon as it starts to get blocked. This is important not only for the health of your home’s air but for the health of your furnace. As the filter gets clogged, your furnace has to work harder to keep up air circulation. When your furnace works harder it places more wear and tear on the parts. Replacing your air filter regularly can extend the life of your furnace! An air filter every few months is worth not having to replace a burnt out motor (not to mention the chilly time while you wait for your repair).
Take a moment to look at your air filter. Changing your filter and following some of the helpful hints in our previous blog post will help you have a healthier winter and boost the longevity of your current furnace.
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