It’s that time of year again. You know; that time of year when the air starts to get cooler and you start thinking about all the things that need to be done around your home to get it ready for winter.
It never fails, there is always a lot to do around the house to prepare for the cold weather and most people have some sort of checklist to help make sure everything gets done and while cleaning the gutters and checking the windows for drafts is important, one thing you want to make sure you don’t forget is changing your furnace filter.
Changing your furnace filter is more important than you may think. This task may not top anyone’s list of things to do, but keeping a clean filter purifies the air that we breathe by removing dirt and allergens. Changing your furnace regularly not only keeps the air that you and your family breathe clean, but it saves you money on energy costs as well.
Overall, the benefits of a basic maintenance task that only takes a few seconds far outweighs putting it off and ending up with a dirty, clogged filter.
People who suffer from allergies as well as issues such as asthma will benefit from a clean furnace filter in the home. Two types of indoor air pollutants will affect our breathing: particle pollutants and gaseous pollutants. Particle matter can consist of things such as pollen, cigarette smoke, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, mold, and cooking odors. Gaseous pollutants might include items such as paint fumes, adhesive products, building materials, pesticides, and cleaning products.
The way an air filter works is that it acts as a trap for all of these various pollutants. Regularly changing out your air filter will allow you to greatly reduce the number of polluted particles in the air that you breathe in your home, which is important not only for your family but also for your pets as well. Young people and older adults can particularly be affected by particles in the air.
Air filters have different MERV ratings and the higher the MERV rating, the more particles you will capture with the filter. A MERV rating of 8 is common for most household furnace filters, but if you have people in your home who may be particularly susceptible to allergens in the air (such as asthma sufferers, etc.) then you may want to consider using a filter with a higher MERV rating such as MERV 11 or MERV 12.
Now that you know how air filters affect the air that you breathe in your home, you are probably wondering how they can save you money. When an air filter is not changed regularly, it accumulates all sorts of dust and debris. These foreign particles serve to clog up your filter and make it harder for air to pass through it. This in turn forces your furnace to work harder, using more energy and thus costing you more money. This increase in air resistance is a big deal because you do not want to have to make costly repairs to your HVAC system.
By simply replacing your furnace filter once every 3-4 months, you will greatly reduce the possibility of having problems with your system. All of us have better things to spend our money on than fixing our furnace, so an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case.
It is by far cheaper to replace a simple air filter regularly than it is to call a heating/cooling company to come to your house to make repairs to your furnace system!
It’s easy to see how doing a simple task like changing your furnace filter regularly has all sorts of benefits for you and your family as well as your wallet. A clean filter will grab foreign particles much more easily than a clogged, dirty one will, and it will allow air to flow through your ducts much more easily, saving you money.
Protecting your home from air pollutants is a great fall task to add to your list and it should be done several more times of the year as well. When the air starts changing from hotter to cold air, the environment changes as well and different pollutants can come into your home.
Take a few minutes to replace your furnace filter and you and your family will benefit from this simple fix. There is no better time than the present to take care of your HVAC system.