When is it Time to Change Your Furnace Air Filter?

Take Care of Your Furnace 

& Your Furnace Will Take Care of You

Man changing an air filter

The Winter Blues Affects More Than Just People

As winter reaches its end and you start daydreaming about opening up those windows, turning those thermostats down and shedding those extra layers, there is a simple way to start freshening up the air in your home right now, today. It’s actually one of the simplest and most effective ways to clear the air: Changing your Furnace Air Filter.

Why Even Change the Filter?

Your heater is working hard and just like you, it needs clean air to do its thing. The furnace air filter is located where the HVAC Unit pulls air in, which stops build up from occurring in the unit as well as preventing the stuff you don’t want from circulating through the ductwork system and your house.

Because it’s cold outside, you might notice more dust in the air of your home. Dust, dirt, pet dander, allergens, and bacteria are all things that your furnace filter traps forever. All these things collect in the filter and make it harder to pull air through as it passes into your HVAC system. Regularly changing the filter is key for maintaining your furnaces health, as well as your own.

The Tell-Tale Sounds, and Smells

You might not spend a lot of time smelling your furnace. (nor should you) However, there is a tendency for a clogged filter to start smelling a little, funny. Also because of the heat building up in the system, a burning smell can occur too.

It’s likely that you only notice the sound of your HVAC heating system kick on a few times a day and running a while as it’s heating air. Even when it is running frequently, we tend to get used to the sound of a furnace clicking on and off in the cold months, but there is a definite problem to listen for: Short Cycling.

Short Cycling happens when the unit has trouble pulling enough air through a clogged air filter and as a result the unit begins to overheat. There is a limiter switch in the unit to prevent overheating which turns the unit back off. This turns into a really annoying dance of clicking on and off and on and off and on and off and on…you get the point.

A furnace that is running on a short cycle will likely need to be replaced way ahead of it’s time. It’s a problem that should be addressed immediately by a professional and can be mostly avoided by keeping a clean filter in the system.

Clean vs. dirty air filter

When is it Time for a New Filter?

Depending on size, you might want to go with something like this:

2 inches or smaller change every 2 or 3 months

4 inches or bigger change every 6 months

Some filters and systems require only 1 new filter change per year. From Novi to Farmington and beyond, you can have a specialist from Dean Mechanical tell you exactly what type, size, and how often to change your air filter.

Often times it’s the simple things that make the biggest differences. Regular maintenance such as replacing the furnace filter will keep your heating system running efficiently this winter, and many winters to come. A new filter can give you the first breath of clean, fresh air even a little bit before spring finds it way to your doorstep this year.

Can You Change a Furnace Filter While It's Running?

You shouldn't change a filter while it's running. Turn off the furnace before changing the air filter.

There are a few reasons for this.

1. As you remove the dirty filter, it knocks off and disrupts dust and dirt, which then gets sucked into your HVAC system.

2. The filter will be easier to change when off because the air pressure of the blower is typically significant.

Got too much on your plate? You never have to worry about keeping up with all the regular maintenance needs of your heating and cooling systems again. The Dean Mechanical Maintenance Plan covers all the things your HVAC systems need: heating, cooling, coils, discounted parts, and yes even furnace filters. 

Go HERE and let Dean Mechanical handle it for you!