Your furnace filter may not seem too important, but it’s actually one of the most essential components of your HVAC system. If you’ve noticed higher than usual heating costs, lots of dust in your home, or poor heating, these may be signs that your furnace filter needs to be replaced. Here’s a quick look at what your furnace filter does and how it can keep your home clean and healthy.
What is a Furnace Filter?
Furnace filters are screens used to keep pollutants and particles out of your HVAC system. They are typically rectangular and range in thickness depending on the type of furnace. Furnace filters are typically located in your furnace’s air intake to block pollutants as air is sucked into the furnace for heating and redistribution throughout the home. The filter can be made from fiberglass, cellulose, polyester, and other fibrous materials. Some of the many pollutants that can be blocked by your furnace filter include smoke, viruses, pollen, lint, dust, pet dander, and mold spores.
Why Should I Check My Filter?
Over time, furnace filters will get clogged and dirty from pollutant buildup. As more particles accumulate in the filter, they will allow less air to travel through. This causes your furnace to exert more energy to produce heat, which drives up your energy costs. Additionally, a dirty and clogged furnace filter will be less effective at containing pollutants and may contribute to poor indoor air quality and dustiness in the home.
When Should I Replace My Filter?
Check your furnace filter at least once a month, but more often during the heating season, if you smoke indoors, or if you own pets. If the filter appears dirty and dusty, replace it for improved indoor air quality and furnace efficiency.