When it comes to maintaining a warm and comfortable home, your furnace is an integral part of the overall HVAC system. However, for your furnace to function at its best, regular maintenance must take place. One important task that many homeowners need guidance on is locating and replacing the air filter in their furnace unit.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why changing the air filter is so important, where you can find it inside your unit, and what types of replacement filters are available for purchase. Read on as we guide you through everything there is to know about keeping your furnace running smoothly!
Why is Changing Your Furnace’s Air Filter Important?
The air filter in your furnace plays a crucial role in trapping airborne particles such as dirt, dust, and allergens before they circulate through your home’s air supply. The filter comprises a dense mesh or pleated material that captures these particles as they pass through the furnace’s air ducts. This filtering process results in clean air circulating throughout your home, promoting good indoor air quality and better respiratory health for occupants.
Negative Effects Of A Dirty Air Filter On Indoor Air Quality And Energy Bills
Unfortunately, air filters don’t maintain their effectiveness indefinitely. Over time, the filter becomes clogged with dirt and debris, making it difficult for air to pass through. When this happens, your furnace must work harder to maintain the desired temperature, leading to higher energy consumption and increased energy bills.
Additionally, a dirty air filter can reduce the amount of clean air circulating through your home, leading to poor indoor air quality and increased respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma.
For example, imagine you have a family member with asthma living in your home. An old and dirty air filter can allow allergens, dust, and other irritants to circulate throughout the air supply, triggering asthma symptoms and leading to unnecessary medical expenses. Similarly, a clogged air filter can force your furnace to work harder and longer than necessary, resulting in a massive increase in energy bills.
Where is Your Furnace’s Air Filter Located?
Knowing where your furnace’s air filter is located is essential to maintain proper airflow, promoting good indoor air quality, and ensuring that your furnace works at peak performance. While the air filter’s location can vary depending on the type of furnace, it’s generally easy to locate.
The Location Of The Air Filter Varies From One Furnace To Another
The air filter’s location varies from one furnace to another and sometimes even within the same model. Some newer furnaces have filters in a central location, while other older models have the filtration system attached to the blower motor. Some filters are disposable, while others can be cleaned and reused. Regardless of the type of filter your furnace uses, it’s crucial to know how to locate it for routine maintenance.
How To Locate The Air Filter In The Blower Motor Compartment or the Return Air Duct
The air filter is usually located there if your furnace has a blower motor compartment. In most cases, you’ll need to remove the access panel by unscrewing the outer cover with a wrench. Once you’ve removed the panel, you should find the air filter behind it.
If your furnace doesn’t have a blower motor compartment, the air filter could be located within the return air duct. Start looking for a large vent that sucks in air, usually placed near the furnace. If you can’t see the filter directly at first glance, you might need to disassemble the ductwork to access it.
Consulting Your Furnace Manual If Need be
If you’re still having trouble finding the air filter, or if you’re unsure what type of filter to use, consult the furnace manual. The manual should contain information regarding the type and location of the filter and instructions on how to change it. If you’ve lost the manual or it doesn’t contain information about the filter, the manufacturer can probably provide you with the necessary information.
How Often Should You Change Your Furnace’s Air Filter?
Several factors can influence the frequency of changing your furnace’s air filter. These factors include the presence of pets, the frequency of furnace usage, the air quality in your home, the number of people living there, and the filter you’re using. Essentially, if you live in a busy household with several pets, your furnace’s air filter may need more attention than if it were in a single-occupancy home.
Guidelines For Changing Your Furnace’s Air Filter
You should generally change your furnace’s air filter at least once every three months. It is a guideline that is useful for the average household. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the frequency of air filter replacement varies based on different factors.
For example, if you have pets, allergies, open windows or doors during high pollen levels, live in a dusty area, or have a large family, you may need to change the air filter more often. Additionally, a yearly change may suffice if you do not use your furnace frequently.
When To Change The Air Filter More Often
If you have pets, children, or elderly people living in your home or suffer from allergies or asthma, you might consider changing your air filter more often than the three-month guideline suggests. If you live in an area with heavy construction or road traffic, or if it’s dusty or polluted, you may also need to change the filter more frequently. During particularly extreme seasons or a wildfire, the frequency of air filter replacement may increase.
It is also essential to consider the type of filter you use when determining replacement intervals. The manufacturer typically recommends filter replacement intervals, and you should follow them closely.
Knowing where to find and how often to change your furnace’s air filter is essential to keep your home’s air quality healthy. While the three-month rule applies in most cases, remember that certain factors can influence the frequency of air filter replacement. If you have any doubts, consult your furnace manual or the manufacturer. Keeping a regular maintenance schedule will help you make sure that your furnace is always working properly and your home’s air quality is at its best.