Furnace Filter Maintenance
Regular furnace maintenance is one of the most important ways to keep you home’s heating and cooling systems working at peak efficiency. You may think you need a professional to come and clean your furnace, and you should have it done twice a year, but there are simple ways you the homeowner can keep your HVAC system clean and working properly. Accumulation of dust and debris in your duct work can build up and become a fire hazard, so use these tips to help keep your system clean and save you money. Check out these simple tips any homeowner can do to clean your furnace filter and heating system.
- First go to your breaker box and turn off the power to your furnace. You never want to work on electrical appliances while they are just unplugged. Safety is your first concern and you don’t want a simple job turn into a trip to the ER or worse. If you have a gas or oil furnace, the fuel supply needs to be shut off and the pilot light extinguished.
- Find your furnace’s maintenance service panel. You can find it using your system’s owner’s manual. It may open by hand, or you may need a screwdriver to unscrew the panel.
- Locate the furnace filter; it’s the spongy object usually in a paper or metal frame. The filter is located between the air duct and the furnace; it is usually one inch or slightly more thick. Take an old toothbrush and clean the area where the filter sits after you remove it. This will help cut down on dust and debris and keep your furnace running smoothly.
- If you have a reusable filter, take it out, rinse it out with a garden hose or in the shower, let it dry and replace it. If your filter is disposable be sure you have a new on one hand to pop in. You may want to write the size of your filter on the side of your furnace so you can get the right size when it is time to replace it.
- Replace the cover and turn on your heater. Listen for any popping or cracking as this may signal an electrical problem. If you do hear any strange noises for a prolonged time, call a professional to come and check it out.
A clean filter and a clean furnace will save you money and keep your HVAC system working at its peak efficiency. Be sure to check the filter once a month and remove any blockage or debris, especially in the winter months when you use your furnace the most. This will not only keep your system working properly, but help avoid any respiratory and allergy issues your family can develop.