Southeast Michigan homeowners are advised, over and over again, to change their furnace filters often, yet many neglects to take care of this simple task. The fact is, there is no other factor that affects the performance of your system and energy efficiency like a dirty or clogged filter, which will impede airflow. Most homeowners aren’t aware that the blower of their systems sends all the air volumes in their homes through the filter countless times each day. Along with the air, imagine all the airborne particles including lint, dust, dirt, pet dander, and other contaminants! Not to mention pollen, mold spores, and other tiny microorganisms that aren’t visible.
Cheap Filters are Inexpensive for a Reason
A dirty filter can reduce airflow from your system, which can result in several consequences including poor indoor air quality, excessive wear and tear on your system, and increased energy consumption which results in higher utility bills. You can prevent most of the above by installing a high-quality filter and make sure you change it each month during the winter season.
What type of furnace filter should you get?
Understandably, many homeowners in Ann Arbor, Dexter, and surrounding areas buy the cheapest filters available – fiberglass panel filters, which are only capable of filtering larger dust particles. These filters are nearly useless when it comes to improving indoor air quality. By purchasing pleated polyester or cotton filters in multi-packs, you enjoy a great value and much-improved efficiency. The efficiency of filters is measured by the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) displayed on the package. The higher the rating, the more airborne contaminants you can expect your filter to remove from the air. If you want a filter that is capable of trapping mold spores and other invisible particles, be sure to get one with a rating of 6 to 8. Those rated higher than 10 can severely restrict the airflow of your system, so be aware of the fact.
Changing Your Filter
In most cases, the filter on a furnace is installed in a slide-in slot placed vertically at the bottom of the unit, in the area where the return air duct enters the furnace cabinet. When changing the filter, be sure to turn the thermostat to the “off” position. Slide the old filter out, clean the furnace frame to remove any accumulation of dirt and dust using a soft rag, then slide the new filter in while making sure the side with the printed arrow is pointing in the direction of airflow. Turn the thermostat to the “on” position, and you’re ready to enjoy improved efficiency and better indoor air quality.
Need help selecting a filter to replace your old one, or changing the filter on your furnace? Contact the SE Michigan heating and cooling professionals at Haley Mechanical for all your furnace needs.