Breathe deep. Feel that clean air?
It’s probably not something you do regularly. Yet when we think about it, it’s vital.
The EPA states indoor air quality can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside air, which is a big deal considering most of us average 90 percent of our time inside.
How do you ensure the air you breathe inside your home is clean? It starts with furnace filter maintenance.
Maintaining a clean and efficient furnace ensures a healthy indoor air environment and reduces energy costs. A critical aspect of furnace maintenance is regularly changing or cleaning the furnace filter. The furnace filter removes dust, dirt, and other airborne particles from the air before they are circulated back into the home. Over time, the filter becomes clogged with debris, reducing its ability to clean the air and increasing the strain on the furnace.
To keep your air clean and your furnace running efficiently, it is essential to understand the different types of furnace filters and the proper maintenance schedule for each.
Types of Furnace Filters
There are three main types of furnace filters: disposable fiberglass, washable electrostatic, and high-efficiency pleated filters.
Disposable fiberglass filters are the most commonly used filter and are relatively inexpensive. They are also easy to replace, making them a popular choice for homeowners. However, these filters are at the low end of removing small particles from the air. They need to be replaced every one to three months to ensure they’re working.
Washable electrostatic filters are made of a metal mesh that attracts and captures particles as air passes through them. They can be cleaned and reused, making them a more cost-effective option than disposable filters. However, they can be challenging to clean, and if not cleaned properly, they can actually release trapped particles back into the air.
High-efficiency pleated filters are made of a dense material that can capture even the smallest particles from the air. They are more effective at cleaning the air than fiberglass filters and can last up to six months. However, they are also more expensive and can be more challenging to replace.
Filter Maintenance Schedule
How often you change or clean your furnace filter depends on several factors, including the type of filter you have, furnace usage, and the level of air pollution in your home.
It is recommended to replace disposable fiberglass filters every one to three months. You can shorten the replacement cycle to monthly if you have pets or allergies..
Washable electrostatic filters should be cleaned every three to six months, depending on how much traffic is inside your home. If the filter appears dirty, it should be cleaned immediately to ensure that the furnace runs efficiently.
High-efficiency pleated filters should be replaced every six to twelve months, depending on traffic. If you have pets or allergies, replacing them every six months is best.
Tips for Proper Furnace Filter Maintenance
To ensure that your furnace is running efficiently and your air is clean, consider adding these furnace filter maintenance tips to your calendar:
Check the filter regularly – Regularly checking it will help you track when it needs to be replaced or cleaned.
Replace or clean the filter on schedule – Following the recommended maintenance schedule will ensure that the furnace is running efficiently and that the air is clean.
Choose the right filter – Selecting the correct filter for your home will ensure that it is effective at removing particles from the air and lasts as long as possible.
Store spare filters – Having an extra filter on hand will ensure you always have a filter when you need one.
Clean the filter properly – If you have a washable electrostatic filter, it is essential to clean it properly to ensure it functions effectively.
Maintaining a clean and efficient furnace ensures a healthy indoor air environment and reduces energy costs. When was the last time you checked yours?