Even if you’re diligent about maintaining your heating and cooling system, it’s all too easy to forget about the air filter. During the heating season, the filter needs to be checked regularly and changed as soon as it looks dirty.
Remove the filter from the furnace, and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see any light through it, you need a new filter. Here are three reasons filter replacement is essential.
A cleaner system
Checking the filter often and changing it as necessary will help to keep your furnace clean. The filter — especially one with a minimum-efficiency reporting value of 5 to 12 — will trap particulates before they can clog your system and cause performance issues. A filter with a MERV rating of 9 to 12 can keep particulates as small as 1 micron from getting into your system. That means your furnace won’t have to work harder than it should, and your furnace won’t experience buildup-related breakdowns or even failure.
A less-expensive system
A system that has to work harder because of a dirt buildup will wind up costing you. Your furnace might require expensive repairs that wouldn’t be necessary if you had kept an eye on the filter. The furnace might even fail prematurely. But just as important, that hard work your furnace is putting in will show up in higher utility bills. Compare all that expense with the relatively low cost of a new air filter, and it’s likely that you’ll be checking the filter more often.
Particulates that your air filter traps aren’t getting into your furnace — or the air you breathe. This is especially important if you have a family member with respiratory problems. Most furnaces cannot accommodate the highest-efficiency HEPA filters — which generally come in whole-house air cleaners — but a filter with a MERV rating of 9 to 12 can go a long way toward keeping particulate matter out of your air.
For more expert advice about filter replacement and other issues related to home comfort, contact the Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado Springs or Denver.
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