Think your furnace and air conditioner are two separate systems? Think again. While a furnace and air conditioner each have their own stand-alone equipment, they are a part of the overall HVAC system that utilizes the same ventilation system to heat and cool your home.
Every time your air conditioner or furnace runs, it blows the air through the ductwork and out the vents. Even though the furnace isn’t operating when the AC runs, it still delivers cold air throughout the home using the same blower, and passing through the same air filtration system.
What does a furnace filter do?
Before conditioned air is blown out into your rooms, it passes through a furnace filter to trap airborne contaminants from entering the HVAC system. Removing particles first makes the furnace and AC unit function better, which keeps them running longer and in good repair.
An efficient furnace means it also returns conditioned air to your home more effectively. Without contaminants and pollutants entering the HVAC system, these particles will be trapped before they enter the air supply, and spread throughout your home. You’ll breathe cleaner air because your furnace and AC unit are as efficient as they can be.
How often should the furnace filter be changed?
While you’ll find suggested guidelines for changing a furnace filter vary, common sense dictates that it’s dependent on lifestyle and your HVAC system’s history.
Do you have an active household with lots of kids, guests, and pets? More activity brings in more particles and potential contaminants that can enter the cycle. To keep it clean, err on the side of replacing it more frequently.
Do you live alone and travel extensively? Because your home is a relatively closed environment, you may be able to push the envelope of furnace filter replacement, knowing your home is as clean as it can be.
No matter your lifestyle, furnace filters should be replaced regularly, from monthly to yearly. Just like there is a wide range of guidelines, you’ll also find a variety of filters that are crafted with your lifestyle in mind.
In most cases, size matters. Thicker filters have the capability to capture more contaminants. In this case, a 6-inch filter would have more trapping power than a 1-inch. You’ll find manufacturers express this according to MERV guidelines, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. One to two-inch filters have a replacement suggestion of one to three months, while five to six-inch filters can move to nine to twelve months.
Of course, more is often better. Discuss this with one of our technicians to start the right maintenance plan for your lifestyle and system.
It’s the best way to keep your HVAC systems fully operational, and ensure it’s in the best condition possible.