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Every HVAC heating and cooling system includes an air filter. Its purpose is to remove airborne contaminants that despoil the quality of the air you breathe every day.
Over time, HVAC air filters become dirty and must be replaced. Fortunately, this is not a complicated job. It does not require help from a trained technician. You can change your HVAC air filter all on your own, with no anxiety and a minimum of fuss.
As you continue to use your furnace and air conditioner, your air filter will become progressively dirtier and progressively less effective. If you leave air filters in place indefinitely, as many people do, you’ll no longer enjoy the important benefits they can deliver.
Conversely, if you change your HVAC air filters on schedule, you will:
Air filters help to dramatically reduce the quantities of indoor air pollution you breathe. If you purchase one of superior quality, it can protect you from most of the health hazards associated with bad indoor air quality.
Changing your HVAC air filter is a piece of cake, once you know what you’re doing. Here’s how to do it in six easy steps …
You can do this by setting the thermostat to “off.” When changing an air filter, it isn’t necessary to cut all power to your HVAC system.
Your furnace owner’s manual will tell you where to find the filter (assuming you still have it). If you’ve lost the manual, you’ll find your HVAC air filter located close to the air handler. The filter may be located beneath the cover of the furnace, which you can remove by lifting it up. Alternatively, you might find the filter inserted in a special opening in the duct work leading into the blower.
If you pull the filter out partway you should see its dimensions printed on the frame. If you don’t see anything, you may have to pull the filter out all the way and measure it yourself.
You’ll need to write down the dimension by length, width and depth. You’ll have to take those numbers with you when you visit your hardware or HVAC supply store.
If you haven’t already done so, slide the used filter out all the way and set it aside. It will likely be coated in dust and debris, which will confirm that it was time to make a change.
Installing an HVAC filter is easy. The one caution is to make sure the directional arrow printed on the filter frame is pointed toward the blower when you insert it. This will guarantee your HVAC air filter works as designed.
When you purchase a new filter, you should pay attention to type and MERV rating. Pleated filters cost more than fiberglass filters, but they are much better in quality and usually worth the investment. Meanwhile, MERV stands for ‘minimum efficiency reporting value,’ and it provides an accurate measurement of a filter’s capacity to capture and remove pollutants. For residential use, you should select a filter with a MERV rating between 8 and 12.
With your new, clean filter in place, your HVAC system should be all set to go. You may not notice the difference right way, but your lungs and nasal passages most certainly will.
Good-quality pleated filters can last for up to three months. But you should check them every month just to be sure.
If there is a thick and noticeable layer of dust and dirt present, change the filter immediately. Should you choose to go with cheaper fiberglass options, they should definitely be changed on a monthly basis.
If you have questions about filter types, MERV ratings, air filter replacement procedures or anything else related to the health of your HVAC system, please contact ABE Heating and Cooling today. We are located in Brighton, Colorado and serve the entire Denver Metro Area, and we’re ready to help you take important steps to guarantee your home’s indoor air quality.