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If You Have a Forced Air Furnace, You Need to Check the Air Filter

Posted: October 26, 2017

With proper maintenance, the average HVAC* system can last 12-15 years. One way to make sure your system reaches its life span and operates efficiently is to perform an easy, do-it-yourself maintenance task. This means changing or cleaning your furnace’s air filter as often as the manufacturer recommends. In general, you should check the filter’s condition once a month and change/clean it when necessary.

4 quick points

  1. Filters are located either inside the furnace or inside the return air vent.
  2. Some filter models are designed to be discarded and replaced with a new one.
  3. If your filter has a plastic frame, it can be cleaned and reused.
  4. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to shut the furnace off before handling the filter.

Here’s what can happen if you ignore your air filter:

  • With a clogged air filter, there is less room for air to flow through your system and through your home. Your HVAC system will need to work harder to circulate air, which will result in an increase in your heating bills. Your home will become less comfortable and the indoor air quality will degrade.
  • An extremely dirty air filter can make your HVAC system work so hard that it can cause premature wear and tear on parts. This can lead to a total breakdown and an expensive repair.
  • A dirty air filter can cause cooling problems too. Lack of airflow in your central A/C can result in the cooling coil freezing inside your air conditioner because it’s working so hard just to cool the air inside your home. A frozen coil can be a very costly repair.

To get you off to a good start, we clean or change filters as part of the annual maintenance provided through our heating and cooling service plans. If you’re not sure how to change the filter yourself but would like to, please ask our technician to show you the next time he is at your house.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

* HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.