Regularly changing your furnace filter is necessary if you want to maximize its efficiency and help purify the circulating air in your home. Furthermore, furnace overheating and breakdown can be avoided if you change filters diligently. Furnace filters protect the blower motor from dirt. Depending on the type of filter you buy, it can also drastically reduce airborne dust and other air particulates, such as pollen, mold, mildew, and even bacteria. Additionally, you will prolong the life and service of your furnace if you change the filters regularly.
Frequency of Changing Your Furnace Filter
So how often must one change the furnace filter? For paper or fiberglass furnace filters, change it at least once a month or every two months. Inspect your filter once a month. For the electrostatic filter change it every 2-3 months. The rule of thumb is, to hold the filter against the light, and if no light goes through, then it is time to change the filter, or, in the case of reusable ones like the plastic type, to clean it with vacuum and water, and make sure it is completely dry before reinserting.
How To Change Your Furnace Filter
First of all, take note of the kind of filter you have. Turn the power off at the main circuit breaker. Remove the filter to check the kind/size of filter you should buy to replace the old one. The filter is either inside the return air vent OR inside the furnace.
Some filters, whether the reusable or disposable ones are rated as high-efficiency particulate air (or HEPA) or antimicrobial. They can trap microorganisms, including bacteria, algae or yeast. This is highly recommended especially if there is a family member who is hypersensitive and has allergies.
After getting the right replacement filter (or cleaning out the reusable one with vacuum and water), take note of the markings or the arrow on the filter so that you install the filter with the right side facing the furnace or blower motor. Installing it the wrong way decreases the filter’s efficiency and blocks the flow of the air instead of cleaning it.