Throughout the year, it’s crucial to maintain your HVAC system to help keep your Fort Worth home comfortable. One of the easiest HVAC maintenance items that you can usually do yourself is changing your system’s furnace filter. Regularly changing your home’s furnace filter has a wide array of benefits that will help keep your home more comfortable and healthy. With so much riding on a clean furnace filter, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of filter replacement. To learn more, check out this article from your friends at Titan Air Solutions.
How Does a Furnace Filter Work?
A furnace filter is made up of tightly woven fibers. These fibers are so close together that tiny contaminants floating in the air can’t get through. This contaminated air comes through your HVAC system’s return vent on its way to being heated or cooled by your system. In this way, your furnace filter ensures that your HVAC system only has to handle clean air so that the system’s components don’t become dirty to the point that it impedes the system’s performance.
How Often Should You Check Your Filter?
It’s a good idea to take a look at your furnace filter every 30 days, even if you don’t notice any changes in your home’s air quality. Replacement cycles will vary for different HVAC systems because of various environmental conditions that are unique to your home. By checking every 30 days, you’ll help prevent damage that can occur if you leave a clogged filter in place for an extended period of time. To ensure you don’t miss this monthly check, consider setting yourself a reminder on your phone or writing it on your calendar every month.
When Should You Change Your Filter?
When you install a new furnace filter, you may want to take a picture of that filter so that you can better understand the true condition of the filter when you’re performing your monthly filter check. Sometimes, dust on a filter is easy to spot, but if the dust is lighter in color, a reference picture can help you determine if the filter needs to be replaced. Even if you don’t notice any changes in your filter when you check it, it’s still a good idea to replace your filter at least once every 90 days. That’s because your filter may be catching particles that aren’t visible to the naked eye. These particles can still clog the filter, meaning you need to install a new filter to maintain your HVAC system’s efficiency.
Reasons for Shorter Intervals
If you’re noticing that your home’s furnace filter is clogged before the 30-day check interval, you may be concerned that there’s a problem. However, there are many normal conditions that can happen to cause your air filter to become clogged more quickly than normal. For instance, if you open your windows to let in fresh air, you could also be letting extra contaminants into your home. This will likely lead to shorter replacement cycles. If you have pets, a wood-burning fireplace, or if someone in your home smokes, your home’s furnace filter will also likely need to be replaced more often. If you’re concerned about your home’s air quality, you can contact Titan Air Solutions for further investigation.
Reasons for Longer Intervals
There may be times when you go to change your furnace filter after 90 days and discover that it’s hardly dirty at all. While this sometimes indicates a serious issue, there is usually a simple explanation for an unusually clean filter. First, if your system uses a thick filter, it may not show much dirt, even if it does have a lot of dust in it. That’s because thicker filters have more pores where dust can hide. Another explanation could be that you’re not running your HVAC system as often. When your system isn’t running, the filter can’t capture contaminants. To augment your system’s air purification when you’re using your HVAC system less often, you may want to utilize portable air filters in rooms with especially poor air quality. If you have ruled out these conditions and your furnace filter is still unusually clean, it’s a good idea to give Titan Air Solutions a call.
Choose the Correct Replacement
When it’s time to replace your furnace filter, you want to be sure to choose a suitable replacement. You’ll want to make sure that the new filter matches the size of the old filter so that there are no openings around the filter where dust can get through. It’s also important to pay attention to the MERV rating of the filter. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, and it measures the size of contaminants that a furnace filter can capture. Filters with higher MERV ratings can capture smaller particles. At the same time, the smaller gaps between the fibers in higher-rated filters can sometimes restrict airflow. If you get a filter with an excessively high MERV rating, your HVAC system may have to work harder to heat and cool your home. Try to find a filter with a MERV rating between 6 and 10 to get the right balance of contaminant removal and energy efficiency.
Benefits of Replacing Your Filter on Time
When you replace your furnace filter on time, you will enjoy multiple benefits. First, your home’s utility bills will stay more manageable. A clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to run longer or more frequently, using more energy in the process. Second, keeping a clean furnace filter in place will help to keep your home cleaner. Finally, you may notice improvements in your family’s allergy symptoms. Since dust particles can trigger allergy symptoms, making efforts to remove more of that dust from the air with a clean furnace filter can reduce the frequency of these symptoms.
Your Filter’s Location
One reason that some homeowners avoid changing their home’s furnace filter is that they can’t find the furnace filter. The location of your filter depends entirely on the design of your system, meaning the filter could be in the ceiling, in a wall, or directly attached to your HVAC equipment. Furthermore, furnace filters are typically located in some type of compartment with a latching door. This door prevents the filter from rattling around when air is moving through the system. You’ll need to identify the location of all of the latches so that you can open the filter compartment and replace the filter.
Your HVAC Pros
At Titan Air Solutions, we love helping our customers take care of their HVAC systems. That’s why we offer furnace maintenance, air conditioner repair, air duct repair, and much more. Since our founding, we’ve been committed to helping our customers achieve excellent home comfort while also treating each person with respect and dignity. That’s why we’ve been voted a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite and continually receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about proper care for your HVAC system’s furnace filter, contact us at Titan Air Solutions today.