This should be common sense to most people, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people on this planet that have no idea what a filter is, let alone, how to replace it. Ignorance is bliss all the way up to the moment your heater gives up the ghost due to lack of simple maintenance.
So here it goes.
The Heater Filter Basics
A heater filter is removable, and it can be found in the furnace between the air intake and the fan, motor, and heating coil. Its job is to protect the internal parts of the heater from dust and particles that could cause damage to the motor and other components of the system. Along with providing protection, these filters help improve the efficiency and airflow of the heater. Without this, the unit can become clogged with dirt which forces the motor to work harder and overheat.
Standard filters are constructed of fiberglass. They are inexpensive, and they need to be replaced on a regular basis. The average filter should be changed every three months for maximum efficiency. They can be purchased at home improvement retailers, hardware stores, or online shops such as Your Filter Connection.
Filters for the heating system were first designed to simply protect the interior components of the unit. Today’s environmental concerns have caused manufacturers to redesign the filters in order to provide additional benefits. The newer designs can improve the quality of the interior air by trapping pollen, dust, smoke, and other pollutants by using a negatively charged ion system. They are essential for homes whose members include people with respiratory problems or allergies. These modern versions of the furnace filter are slightly more expensive than the disposable fiberglass filters. Many newer ones can be washed and used again. The initial investment in modern filters can be recouped over time with the savings from not having to buy new filters every three months.
When purchasing a filter for a heating system, one will need to know what size is required. This will either be noted on the unit itself or in the included manuals. One can also remove the current filter to measure it. One also needs to know what quality rating is needed. To be able to find the correct quality, the MERV rating system is used. This Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value tells one how the filter performs. The higher the rating is, the better the furnace filter will work. Regularly replacing the filter will extend the units life span along with improving its efficiency.