It’s probably the cheapest component in your forced-air heating and cooling system, yet it has one of the most important jobs to do. The furnace filter serves dual purposes and has multiple benefits. However, it’s only effective if you check the air filter on a regular basis and change it when it appears clogged or dirty.
The Role of an Air Filter
The air filter is usually located in the plenum of a residential furnace, the area where the ductwork joins with the furnace itself. In many households, the furnace blower serves as the air handler for the air conditioner. Before the air is pulled in to be heated or cooled, it must pass through the filter. As this happens, the filtration media – usually fiberglass or some other synthetic substance – removes airborne particulates in advance of the heating or cooling process. Depending on the design and density of the furnace filter, it might only remove the largest particulates from the air. High-efficiency air filters will remove the vast majority of particulates circulating in the air, though they also tend to restrict airflow.
Benefits of a Furnace Filter
Protection and energy efficiency. By removing larger particles of dust and other debris from the air, the furnace filter protects sensitive HVAC components. Dirty parts reduce efficiency and make the furnace work harder to heat your home. Meanwhile, a clogged filter also will erode efficiency, as the HVAC equipment struggles to blow air through the dirty filter.
Indoor air quality. A higher-efficiency furnace filter will remove many of the smaller airborne particulates that can trigger and exacerbate allergies and other respiratory conditions. If the filter is clogged, some of those particulates will get blown past the filtration material, contaminating household air.
Air Filter Maintenance
It’s simple: get in the habit of inspecting the air filter every month during the heating and cooling seasons, and when it looks dirty, change it.
For more help improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality in your southwestern Oklahoma home, please contact us at Davis Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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