Your Furnace Air Filter
January 27, 2009 · Print This Article
When was the last time you changed your furnace air filter? If you forget to change your furnace filter, you’re bound to reduce the operating efficiency of your furnace which could eventually damage the motor.
This warning comes as a, “do as I say, not what I did,” bit of advice.
January has been snowy and cold. In the mornings, I head to my home office, shut the door, and flip on a small electric heater for just a few minutes to add a bit of additional heat to what my furnace provides. I stay toasty warm.
For the past several weeks, when leaving my office, I noticed the rest of the house seemed a bit chilly. I thought it was because the outside temperatures were so cold and the fact that my office was so warm, that the other rooms of the house felt cold.
Last Saturday, while working in the rest of the house, I noticed how really cold it was. Putting my hand over the heat vent and feeling very little air flow, it dawned on me what the problem was.
Bolting to the basement, I tried to remove the furnace filter to no avail. I tugged and pulled, tearing one end off before it became loose enough to remove. It was so full of dirt, the blower had forced it up against a side wall trying to push air through. What came out looked like a gray fur bearing animal.
In shock, and I tried to remember the last time the filter had been replaced… sometime around Halloween flashed in my mind… or was it Labor Day? Once the filter was removed, my house warmed up in just a few minutes and the furnace did not run continuously. I can just imagine what my fuel bill is going to be! Yikes!
Some dealers recommend that filters be changed once a month. Others say that every three months is sufficient. However, during the coldest months of the year, the filter should be changed more frequently because the furnace is running for longer periods of time, filtering out dust and other contaminants.
Learning from this experience, I’m marking my calender in advance, as a reminder to “change the filter.” On a three month rotation, the first day of every season might be a good idea. Every other month is probably a better idea…better safe than sorry.
Again… “do as I say and not what I did.” Run now and check your furnace filter so your furnace will function more efficiently and you’ll say warm.
PS Don’t forget, most air conditioners filter the air through the furnace. Changing the filter often will help keep your summer fuel bill reasonable. On second thought… is there ever a reasonable fuel bill?