We’re getting into the winter, and that means it’s time to take a close look at your home’s heating system to make sure it is ready for the season. The most important step is to arrange for professional maintenance with our team. This helps a heater avoid 95% of breakdowns over the winter and helps keep it working at the highest possible efficiency. Maintenance is a job for HVAC professionals only. It requires training and special equipment.
However, there is one vital maintenance task that you’ll have to do on your own after the maintenance is over, and that’s regularly changing the HVAC system’s air filter.
What’s the air filter?
It’s the filter that protects the interior of the heater and the air conditioner from dust, lint, and other debris the blower fan draws in through the return air duct. This isn’t a filter designed to improve indoor air quality—you’ll need special filters to do that—only to protect the HVAC system. This filter can’t clean out itself as debris collects in it over time, so the filter needs to be regularly removed and replaced with a clean one.
(There are permanent filters available which can be removed and cleaned. However, we don’t recommend these because they are not as effective as temporary filters and they can develop bacteria and fungus over time.)
Why does the filter need to be replaced?
An air filter that is too congested with dust, lint, dander, and other objects will restrict airflow into the blower. The immediate effect this has is an increase in utility bills since it will force the blower motor to work harder. It can also cause a circuit breaker to trip. A clogged filter can create other problems as well, such as a drop in airflow through the ventilation system, the heat pump coil to freeze over, or the furnace to overheat. Simply put, a clogged filter is bad news all around.
How often does the filter need to be replaced?
Our technicians will change the filter during maintenance. After that, it will need to be swapped out for a new filter every 1 to 3 months. The least expensive type of filter, fiberglass panel filters, will usually need to be replaced monthly. Thicker, pleated filters made of polyester can last longer, two to three months. Make sure to check on these filters regularly to see when they need to be swapped out. This way you can get used to the schedule.
Changing the filter is easy: slide it from its slot (located where the return duct contacts the HVAC cabinet) and then slide in the new filter, making sure to match the arrows on the new filter with the arrows on the slot so that the filter isn’t facing the wrong direction. Use a marker to write on the side of the new filter when it was put in so you’ll know when to change it.
If you need help with your heating in Roseville, CA, whether it’s trouble from a clogged furnace or because you would like to have a new heating system installed, contact us.
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