Having regular professional maintenance for your heating system is an essential annual step to make sure the heater works at its best and runs into few malfunctions. But there is an important maintenance task that you need to do on your own during the rest of the winter, which is to regularly change the HVAC system’s air filter. If this filter is allowed to become clogged, it will severely cut down on the energy efficiency of the heater, raising your bills and lowering your comfort.
The Filter Types and Where to Find Your Filter
There are many different type of filters available, so you need to know what type of filter your system has and where it is located. All air conditioners and furnaces have this filter to protect internal components (such as the AC’s coil and furnace’s heat exchanger).
The standard 1” throwaway filter is the most common. It’s usually located at the air handler, the spot where the return air duct contacts with the HVAC cabinet. Sometimes they are located inside the cabinet. If they are, make sure that you always put the door back properly after the filter change.
The filter might be inside a centrally located filter grill, and there could be more than one. This type of grill will have latches to open it.
When you replace this type of filter (no, you can’t clean it and re-use it!) make sure that the arrow on the side of the filter frame is pointing the direction of the air flow. A backwards filter won’t do the job right.
There are permanent 1” filter available that can be cleaned and replaced. They are usually made of aluminum or plastic.
Extended media-type filters are usually found inside of an attached filter box. Pull the door from the handle sharply to open it for access. You might also find this filter in a filter grill that’s in the ceiling. Again, make certain that the arrow on the side of the filter frame matches the direction of the air flow. These filter types should only be replaced, never cleaned and re-used.
Finally, there are high-efficiency electronic type air filters. Some of these are a combination of electronic and media type filters. The electronic type can be cleaned and replaced. The combination type will have a media that will also need to be replaced at intervals based on manufacturer recommendations. Be careful not to damage any of the components such as the ionizing wires or fins on the cells. They should also be dry before use, so to avoid damage.
You can watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to replace an air filter.
When you need help with your heating system in Westfield, NJ, just call on Air Creations, Inc. “We Do It Right!”