Most homeowners don’t think about what it takes to keep the equipment in their home working properly. In general, people don’t pay much attention to their furnace until they no longer feel the heat coming through their vents. Unsure of how to properly take care of your furnace? In order to keep your furnace up and running this winter, you will want to regularly changing your furnace filter. Read on to learn about the importance of the filter in your furnace and how to keep it working efficiently.
What Does a Furnace Filter Do?
Some homeowners believe that the primary purpose of a furnace filter is to clean and improve their indoor air. While it does to a certain degree, the main purpose of a filter is to protect the blower fan from dust, hair, and other objects that the return duct pulls in.
In general, the furnace filter helps improve air quality because it prevents contaminants from being recirculated in your home. For that reason, not replacing your furnace filter when it becomes dirty or clogged can result in lower heating power and early system failure.
Where Is the Filter Located in My Furnace?
Generally speaking, the furnace filter is located inside the blower compartment (bottom door). However, the position may vary with the installation of your furnace.
Here are two ways to find your filter’s location:
Up Flow Furnace means the air is moving upwards. In this case, the filter would be located in the blower compartment next to the cold air return.
Down Flow Furnace means the air is moving downward. The filter can be found in the upper blower compartment.
How Do I Find the Right Furnace Filter?
You can find out which filter size your system needs by checking your furnace manual. Additionally, you can refer to your existing filter for dimensions. You can then select a filter type once you know what size you need. Although there are a variety of different filter options, the most common is a disposable filter, as they will only need replacing every couple of months.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created a furnace filter rating system to allow consumers to compare air filters by different companies. These ratings, commonly known as the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), range from 1 to 20. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter can remove.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, air furnace filters with a MERV, between 7 and 13 is adequate for most homes. When searching for the right filter for your furnace, always check that the manufacturer has a high MERV rating for your furnace.
Not Sure How to Replace Your Furnace Filter? No Problem.
A good rule of thumb is to replace your filter every 90 days and checked regularly for any blockages. Additionally, it may be a good idea to write the date on your filter when you replace it so you know when you will need to change it again.
With your heating system on full blast this winter, it may be time to schedule furnace maintenance. At the Ihn Company, we have heating system experts available 24/7 for emergency Milwaukee furnace repairs. Forget the DIY approach. Contact us today for a free estimate.