Home heating is the number one energy expense for most homeowners. Accounting for a substantial portion of most energy bills, heating your home can quickly eat up the cold weather budget and force one to tighten the belt during the winter. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize your heating costs. These ways are surprisingly simple, low-cost, and should be part of normal household maintenance. In fact, one of the easiest steps is simply to ensure that you are properly maintaining your home heating equipment.
Changing the furnace filter is something very important that you should learn how to do. This is the easiest task that you can perform on your own, and probably one of the healthiest things you can do to maintain your home heating system. During the cold winter months, this filter should be changed on a monthly basis, and if you have a central heating and air conditioning unit built together, you should change your filters every month of the year. While it might seem silly to change the filter this often, you are bound to be surprised at all the dirt and airborne debris that becomes caught in this filter. If the airflow is blocked, the efficiency of your unit is compromised.
The air filter removes dirt and dust, as well as things such as carpet fibers, pollen, pet hair and dander from the air. When the filter becomes clogged, it makes your furnace work harder, not unlike how we have to work at sucking a really thick milkshake up a straw. Additionally, keeping your filter in good working order will help extend the life of your unit, ensuring that the evaporative coils, located within the system itself, remain unclogged and helping your furnace to run easier.
Furnace filters are generally easy to find, simply look for where the cold air enters into your furnace. You will usually find them in the cold-air return duct or right at the entrance for the blower chamber. In some cases, you will find a filter at both locations. Once you’ve found your filter, slide it out and set it well out of the way, where it will not get jostled (the best bet is to bring a trash bag and slide it right in, so you don’t risk getting dirt around your house). Your new filter should slide easily in. Replacing your filter on a regular basis is quick, easy, and will extend the lifetime of your furnace unit. Additionally, taking the time to perform this simple task will improve the quality of air in your home.