The simplest and least expensive thing you can do to promote energy efficiency in your home this winter is to check the furnace filter regularly, and change or clean it when it looks dirty. A clean air filter will also be more likely than a dirty one to protect your heating system from breakdowns and will help boost indoor air quality.
How Does the Filter Work?
A standard flat-panel air filter fits into a slot, usually located where the ductwork connects with the furnace. Though it’s called a furnace filter, in many homes it also filters air during cooling (in frequent circumstances where the furnace blower also works with the A/C). Before the air is drawn into the furnace, it passes through the filter, which sifts out particles of dust and other airborne debris.
What Does This Accomplish?
When air passes cleanly into the furnace or A/C, dirt and dust particles won’t settle onto sensitive HVAC components, which reduces efficiency and performance, and forces the machinery to work harder than intended. The filter – provided it’s not a low-efficiency model – will also keep various airborne particulates from continuing to circulate in your indoor air. This is a benefit especially for households with family members who are susceptible to allergies and respiratory ailments.
What Happens When the Filter Gets Clogged?
When the furnace filter gets clogged with debris, the airflow that’s essential to your home’s forced-air heating and cooling system can’t circulate as easily. Your furnace blower will have to work harder to force air through the dirty filter. This wastes energy, stresses parts, and leads to more repairs in the future. A clogged filter will eventually result in dust and debris getting blown through or around the filter, impairing air quality.
The general rule is to check the furnace filter monthly during the heating and cooling seasons, and change or clean it (for reusable models) when it looks dirty. It’s as simple as that.
For help choosing the most effective furnace filter for your home’s HVAC system, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air, serving the Fayette and Coweta County areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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