It is necessary for you to use filters in your furnace, as they help reduce the discharge of allergens (like pollen and dust) from your HVAC system. Filters also improve the performance of your furnace. If you replace the filters often, you are going to have a home with clean air, while protecting against many allergens and bacteria that are frequently released via the forced air heating system.
Replacing furnace filters on a regular basis increases the life of your heating system and reduces energy bills. You should inspect the filters monthly and replace them as necessary. When your HVAC system turns on regularly, it is likely to produce more allergens and dust which the filter traps, thereby requiring replacement more often. When you don’t replace filters, your heating system has to work harder to force the same amount of air out, upping your electricity bill costs and reducing the overall performance of your unit.
It is important that your HVAC system is turned off before you attempt to replace or clean the furnace filter. Locate the service panel of the system and remove the cover with a screwdriver. Sometimes, the cover can be removed by hand too, depending on how it is fastened. Check to see how dirty the filter is. If you are unable to see through it, it’s about time for a cleaning or replacement.
Some filters are reusable and you will need to wash away the dust particles that stick to it. Using an outdoor hose with a sprayer, spray down the filter until it looks clean again and then allow to air dry before putting back in place. Disposable filters can be thrown away when they become dirty and replaced with a new, clean one. Once you have replaced the filter, you can turn your HVAC system on again.
Reusable filters usually have a metal or fiberglass frame with fibrous filters that will stand up to frequent washings and use. Disposable filters normally have thick cardboard frames with natural fibers as the filters. While reusable filters are more cost-efficient, they are more labor-intensive as a result of the cleanings you may have to do on a monthly basis. When choosing a furnace filter, look for the Minimum Efficiency Report Value rating. This indicates the effectiveness of the filter in blocking dust as well as other allergens. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration is for the product.
You will discover four basic kinds of filters: electrostatic, HEPA, mechanical and electronic. Mechanical filters are less expensive, enable smaller particles to pass through and require frequent changing. Electrostatic filters are produced from polyester fibers which are charged electrically when air passes through. This static traps allergens. Electrostatic filters can go longer between cleaning and replacement. Electronic filters don’t have fibers, but instead have electrically charged mesh which attracts allergens and requires weekly cleaning. HEPA filters may be the best that you can buy as it surpasses minimum MERV ratings by filtering out 99% of the allergens and particles in the air that passes through it. HEPA filters are excellent for medical facilities and hospitals.
Simple HVAC maintenance will keep the air in your home clean and healthy, while providing longevity and better performance for your HVAC system.
Not sure how to change your filters or you want someone to come perform a routine maintenance visit? Contact Ortiz Heating & AC, your local HVAC company in San Francisco, at 650.758.4900 for a free quote.
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