The last thing anyone needs during winter is a problem with their furnace, which can result in a malfunction that can leave you with long cold nights till it gets fixed. The furnace filter is a key component of the heating system, as it protects the blower fan from dust, hair, and anything else that is pulled in by the return vents. Removing the debris and other particles that can contaminate the air will also improve the quality of the air in your house, and that is only beneficial for you and your family.
To keep your furnace running for a long time without any problems and to ensure the safety of your family by making sure the air they breathe in is clean, you need to clean and change the filter regularly. With this, you can stay in a comfortable, safe, and cozy place all-year-round. An annual inspection from professionals is always recommended. If you do not spot any potential issues before they become problems, you may end up with big repairs that will cost you time and money.
One of the major problems with furnaces is the wrong size filter, which, believe it or not, sometimes happens when you bring someone in to change your filter. But don’t worry, if you ever face this problem, this article will give you solutions and help you with the dos and don’ts that can help you fix this problem and others.
Do Not Try to Adjust the Size Yourself
Air filters work best with a tight fit, but if your filter is bigger than it is supposed to be, do not try to fold the filter or trim it yourself to adjust its size, as the filter will not be sealed properly and the air will leak through and around the bends. If the filter is smaller in size than it is supposed to be, then it will not cover the entire space, which will allow dust and other contaminants to pass through the gap.
Incorrectly installed filters and wrong size filters can also damage the system’s internal components. So you better be careful, as you don’t want to end up paying a fortune on repairing the whole system instead of replacing the wrong size filter with the right size one.
You also have to do some research on the common furnace filter sizes available in stores. The correct sizing will go a long way in saving money for future repairs since the dust and contaminants will be properly sealed out if the filter fits perfectly.
Do Not Run the System Without the Filter
If you think that it is alright to run the heating system without the filter until you get the right size filter that fits in your furnace, then you need to reconsider your thoughts because it is absolutely not okay. Without the filter, the debris will quickly build-up, and the contaminated air will be blown around your house.
Also, health issues may arise without an air filter since it traps air pollutants that can be inhaled. It will also lead to poor indoor air quality, which is especially bad for those who have respiratory problems, like asthma.
Refer to the Printed Dimensions
If you have the old filter, then refer to the dimensions printed on it, but bear in mind that these dimensions are the nominal dimensions, not the actual ones. There is a slight difference between them but can be easily measured; click here to learn how to measure the actual dimensions of your filter. The newer filters should already have the dimension, but in case you don’t have them, there are tutorials available to teach you exactly how this can be done.
Seek the Help of a Professional
Have a professional inspect your heating system and replace the filter. An inspection should be done annually to maintain your furnace. Always seek professional help and do not take any risks when it comes to maintaining a safe home by trying to service the furnace by yourself.
In looking for a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) expert, choose someone who is licensed, insured, experienced, and reputable. You have to ensure that you won’t have future HVAC problems for hiring unqualified persons.
Refer to the Manual
The furnace comes with a manual, which you need to keep in a safe place, so you can refer to it whenever needed. In the manual, you will find the filter’s model and number, so you can easily order a new one when needed, and replacing a filter should be a breeze if you stick to just that.
Things To Remember In Purchasing A New Furnace Air Filter
- The rule of thumb is to replace a furnace air filter at least once every three months.
- Check the air filter’s Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV number on the label that ranges between 1 to 12. The MERV indicates the air filter’s quality—choose a higher rating.
- If you have problems remembering to clean or change your HVAC filter, set an alert on your phone.
How To Clean Your Furnace Air Filter
You don’t have to replace your air filter monthly. You can may clean it regularly for better performance.
Here’s how to clean a furnace air filter:
- Turn off the furnace.
- Locate the HVAC service panel. Open the panel to find the air filter.
- Under running water, clean the air filter using a garden or sink hose.
- Allow the clean air filter to dry completely before reinserting it.
For those who have pets that shed lots of furs, you can regularly vacuum or sweep the floors to keep the air filter from being clogged too quickly. Cleaning your air filter is a must if you want to save money and maintain a regular HVAC system maintenance schedule for at least twice a year.
As mentioned above, the filter is a key component of any heating or cooling system, especially when the world we live in now is full of different shapes and forms of pollutants. Filters ensure that the air entering and circulating around your house is as clean as possible, so it is very important to pay proper attention to it and keep it maintained by having an annual inspection of your heating system to make sure that everything is ok and replace parts that need to be replaced. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending the cold days of winter freezing in your house or end up paying a lot of money to repair your furnace.