One of the easiest and cheapest ways to maintain your gas furnace plus save energy is to change your furnace filter. In fact...a dirty filter can
double or even triple your home heating costs! Buying a new filter for your furnace and replacing the old one is something that all
homeowners can do regardless of skill level. When it comes to DIY projects around the house, changing the furnace filter is one of the easiest. All
you have to do is slide out the old one and insert the new one. Keep a reminder slip somewhere around your house to check on the filters every
few months and replace if necessary. The most important thing to remember is to have the main furnace turned off. There are up flow, down
flow, and horizontal furnaces, but once you figure out where the filter is stored, it's pretty easy to switch out the old one and slide in the new one.
Commonly, there are arrows placed on the filters to show you what direction they need to go into the furnace. Furnacefilters.com and
Furnacefilterwarehouse.com are two excellent websites to find filter replacements online or at least learn about sizing options and brands. You can
also find furnace filters in home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes or Sears. You should always have a carbon Monoxide detector in
the area as a safety precaution.
Locate & Inspect The Filter
(Please refer to your owners manual for the exact location)
How do I know how often to change it?
There is no simple answer to this important question. Really, it depends.
The life expectancy of your furnace filters can vary depending upon many conditions in your home. Every house is different. The frequency with
which you change your home air filter is determined by any of these factors:
The number of people who live in your home
If there pets in the house
If there is a smoker in the house
If you leave the windows open
If you have pollen bearing trees or plants in the neighborhood
If you live in an area with a lot of dampness
If you live in an area that is dry or arid
Plus many others
If you have several of these factors, you’ll likely experience a quicker loading of particles on your filters. If so, you may need to change filters every
month. If you only have one or two of these conditions you may need to change your furnace filter every 90 days. At an absolute minimum, you
should change the filter every 3 months.
Or if you want to absolutely get the most life out of your filter, just replace it when it's dirty.
How do I know when it's dirty?
It can be hard to tell when a filter gets too dirty since a filter almost always looks dirty. Hold the filter directly up to sunlight. If you can easily see
light through the filter, the filter still has life in it. The less light, the less life it has. Or simply establish a routine following the manufacturers
• Exceptions: If you have a paper or fiberglass filter and it looks dirty, just replce it.
• A dry foam type filter can be washed or vacuumed for re-use.
Or Clean The Permanent Filter
Get the right size filter. Each furnace has a correct size filter. The easiest way to find out which size your furnace needs is to look at the old one. It
will say on the filter the size. It maybe 18x20x1 or something like this. The manual to the furnace may also have the filter size in it.
Be cautious of filters that claim to be allergen filters, while they do in fact filter quite well, they come with big disadvantages: They typically cost $5-
10.00 more then a typical filter, they can be too restrictive on some duct system and cause serious and expensive damage to your equipment, and
they clog up much quicker then a lower grade filter. A low grade filter is not good either...sticking with mid-grade is your best bet. A good all around
filter that is carried at most stores is a 3M Filtrete RED label, with a 3M rating of 700-1000. It provides a great balance of filtration, cost, and
If Your Permanent Filter Needs Cleaning, Proceed As Follows:
If you have permanent-type filters, they are usually saturated with a special filter-coating chemical. After you clean them with a hose or a blast of
compressed air, go to your local hardware store or home center and buy the spray-on chemical designed for your filter (specifications are usually
on the filter frame). Follow the manufacturer's directions for re-coating. If your filters are not the permanent-type, buy new ones.
• Now you can replace the door cover
• Check your filter once every month
When you put the filter back in the furnace, make sure you have the door cover precisely back in place, or your furnace will not
operate as a safety feature. Many calls to the repairman have been made due to this simple mistake.
What Are Some Of The Problems I Will Face If I Forget To Change My Furnace Filter?
The problems that arise from not regularly changing your furnace filter can be broken into three categories:
1) Mechanical problems (furnace shut down from overheating)
2) Energy consumption problems (double to triple the bill!)
3) Health problems.
On the mechanical side, a dirty, blocked home air filter of any type may result in extensive damage to the fan blower motor or compressor. Dirt and
grime accumulate on crucial moving parts causing them to fail much quicker than expected. This can be very costly and sometimes leads to a total
system replacement. At the very least, your system life expectancy will be reduced significantly.
Increased energy consumption problems are often overlooked but can be just as expensive. It’s simple really – the harder your comfort system
must work, the more energy it will consume. The more energy it consumes, the higher your energy bills. A basic filter autoship program can save
you hundreds of dollars a year.
And the third problem, and most importantly, is potential health problems for your family. Consider these facts from the U.S Environmental
Each person inhales over 3,500 gallons of air each day. Children inhale more particles for their size than adolescents or adults.
Polluted air causes 94% of all respiratory problems.
More than 31 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, about 1/3 are children under 18.
About 40,000 dust mites, a common household allergen, can live in one ounce of dust.
An estimated 10-15% of the entire population may be allergic to cat or dog dander.
A person sheds up to 700,000 skin flakes per day.
Your furnace filter is the primary defense to reduce and hold these health issues
at bay. A quality home air filter changed on a regular schedule is a small
investment to make for your family’s overall health.
|How To Replace A Gas Furnace Filter