Filters are an essential part of any furnace, one of the home’s most important appliances. If they are clogged, adequate airflow cannot get to the heating elements, which forces the furnace to work harder. This means higher energy bills and reduced furnace life.
It is important to choose the proper filter for your furnace, as well as for your home. Paper filters are inexpensive, but may not stop dust, pollen or other irritants in the air. HEPA rated filters stop hair, dust and other contaminants from entering or leaving the unit. Some filters today can be cleaned with a blast from a garden hose; these are not HEPA rated, but can be used in conjunction with other filters throughout the home’s HVAC system.
You should replace each filter, whether it is at the furnace intake or room vents, at least once a quarter. Consumers with multiple pets or people living in the house should change filters more often. This means cleaner air throughout the system and house, less dust, fewer contaminants, and possibly less illness.
One example of an efficient product is the 3M Filtrete air filter. It is designed to capture more contaminants than other filters and is available in a wide variety of sizes to fit most furnaces. Dust mite debris, pollen, molds, spores and other irritants are no match for this filter.
Although widely available, some stores do not carry every filter type or size. Online companies, such as Yourfilterconnection.com, carry a wide selection of furnace filters. They also stock filters for air conditioners, air purifiers, humidifiers and other home appliances.
Changing filters also has another benefit, that of reducing or eliminated costly repairs. When debris is prevented from entering the unit, electrical connections and moving parts operate properly and the unit functions more efficiently. That means energy savings, which means lower utility bills. Although today’s units are more energy efficient than those made 30 years ago, changing the filters is still necessary for optimal performance and maximum energy efficiency.
HVAC companies can change filters for homeowners through service contracts. The technician can also perform inspections to recognize any potential problems that need attention before they become major repairs.