The simple act of changing the furnace filter tops the list of home maintenance chores if you want better indoor comfort and lower energy bills. The quality and condition of the filter affects your system’s performance and durability. Changing the filter when it’s dirty provides a host of benefits, such as:
- Reduced energy usage. A dirty air filter increases energy costs because it slows the amount of air flowing through the furnace that makes your system run longer to reach the thermostat’s setting.
- More dependability. Furnaces have high limit switches that shut the system off when the heat inside the furnace builds, primarily due to low airflow. The furnace won’t turn on again until it has cooled down, leaving you without heat for the duration.
- Increased lifetime. The filter traps airborne particles that could otherwise coat the parts inside the air handler and the ductwork. Although the furnace is designed to create heat, dirt covering the blower motor, its fan blades, the electronic components and the heat exchanger shorten each of their lifetimes. If dust covers the heat exchanger, it can crack prematurely, which can prompt an expensive furnace replacement because the cracks can emit carbon monoxide into your home’s air each time the furnace runs.
- Improved indoor air quality. Not only does the filter keep the furnace parts clean, it also traps airborne particulates that can trigger allergy or asthma attacks. Depending on the quality of the furnace filter, it can remove pollen, pet dander, mold spores and dust mite waste, all of which are common allergens.
Choosing a New Filter
A better quality air filter will improve the efficiency, dependability and durability of your system. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum density filter you can use, known as its MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value). They range from one to 16 for residential HVAC systems, and higher numbers indicate the filter can trap smaller particles. Do not exceed the manufacturer’s MERV rating recommendations for filter replacement.
For help selecting and replacing your furnace filter, contact us at CCAC, providing trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas 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 Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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