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Riley Heating & Air Blog

When to Change Your Furnace Filter

Furnace filters play a dual role in your heating system: They prevent the buildup of dust and debris on the equipment and help filter out airborne contaminants from the air that you breathe. Whether or not the filter can get the two jobs done depends on what kind of filter you use and on how often you change it. The following information about air filters can help you protect your furnace equipment from undue wear and tear while improving the indoor air quality in your Eufaula, AL, home.

Why Clean Air Filters Matter

Manufacturers weren’t thinking about indoor air quality during the early years of furnace production. They understood, however, that allowing dust and grime to accumulate on the heater’s components would damage the equipment and lead to premature repairs and breakdowns. The flat-panel fiberglass filters that come with most heating systems do a good job at blocking out large-size particles as long as they are kept scrupulously clean.

Dirty or clogged filters impede air flow and force your furnace to run longer to reach the right temperature. With clean air filters, your furnace will operate more efficiently, need fewer repairs and last longer. It’s hard to change your air filter too often during the high-use season. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends changing your furnace air filter once each month during the winter or more often as needed.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

When regularly changed, the benefits of air filters extend beyond HVAC equipment protection. Clean air filters help keep the air that you and your family breathe free from harmful contaminants. Considering that the air inside the average home is many times more polluted than outdoor air, that’s an important factor to bear in mind. A filter’s ability to block out pollutants is rated on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale, which measures the percentage of particulates sized between 0.3 and 10 microns that the filter can capture.

While it may be tempting to simply swap out your furnace’s existing filter with a high-efficiency model, doing so can do more harm than good. Filters with too-high MERV ratings can impede air flow. The experts at Riley Heating and Air Conditioning can help you determine the optimal choice. Whole-home filtration systems offer you an even better option. These filters and air cleaners are designed to fit into your home’s ductwork system and help clean the air anytime that the system fan is running.

Ensuring that your furnace is properly maintained helps optimize air filter performance as well. Our preventive maintenance services include seasonal inspections, adjustments, tests and cleaning for all of your furnace’s parts and components. Whether you’re searching for products to help rid your home of allergens or you’re on the hunt for ways to lower rising heating costs, the pros at Riley Heating and Air Conditioning can provide the optimal air filtration solution. For more information, contact our knowledgeable HVAC specialists today.

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