January 17, 2014

Now that Missouri has seen the first snowstorms of the season, it is time to think about how well your furnace is running.

We cannot stress enough how important routine maintenance checks on your home’s HVAC system are. If you have not already done so, we recommend that you schedule one immediately as the temperatures drop even further.

Asking For Help From Your HVAC Technician

While the certified HVAC technician is out at your home, ask about the filters he installs and how often they need to be replaced. Depending on the grade of filter material used, they should be replaced once a month or once every three months. The filters are easily accessible on most models and this is the only time an HVAC technician should tell you that it is OK to do that maintenance yourself.

Have him show you exactly where the filter is in the system and the easiest way to remove it. Ask questions about how it should appear when it needs to be changed. An overabundance of buildup in a month’s time may indicate a serious problem that needs to be addressed by your HVAC company.

Understanding the Size and Type of Filter To Use

Make a note of the size and type of filter the technician uses to replace the old one. You can find filters at most hardware stores or large chain home stores. It is important that you buy the right size to ensure a proper fit. They are relatively inexpensive, so you may be able to stock up a small supply to avoid not having one handy when an old one needs replacing.

If you are using a one-inch-thick pleated filter, this will generally need to be changed monthly. Since they do not function well at keeping smaller particles from reaching your breathing air you may want to consider a three-inch filter. These will last three months and work better with high-efficiency furnaces.

Keep Energy Costs Low

With a furnace running almost constantly in the winter it is not a bad idea to check the state of your filter more often. Especially if you have pets or live with a smoker. When a filter starts to get clogged with debris, the furnace must work harder to push the heated air through it. Keeping the filters clean is an easy way to improve furnace efficiency and keep energy costs low.

Once you have the right size and have made a decision on the type, it is time to go ahead and change the filter out. First, turn the unit off. Next, locate the filter and carefully slide it out. Now, while following the arrows to show proper placement, slide the new filter into place. It is that simple. Turn the furnace back on and your filter should be fine for at least the next month.

If you have any doubt or uncertainty about embarking on this project yourself, do not be embarrassed to ask Scott-Lee Heating Company to do it for you. Call us at (314) 200-0788.  You should never attempt something you are not comfortable with.

Photo credit:  Ivy Dawned