Remember Your Furnace Filters This Winter

December 3, 2013

When outdoor temperatures in North Charleston, SC, begin to drop, there’s nothing quite as appealing as coming home to a warm and cozy environment. You rely on your furnace to counter the effects of cold weather and keep everyone in your household comfortable all winter long. Remembering to check your furnace air filter will help ensure that your heating system is up to the task.

Why Check Your Air Filters?

When it comes to home comfort, air filters play two significant roles. First, the filter protects the HVAC equipment by stopping dust, grime and debris from accumulating on critical furnace components. Without this vital protection, the build-up of dirt not only negatively impacts air flow but can damage parts like the blower wheel and motor and lead to costly repairs. A dirty or clogged filter also forces your furnace to run longer to reach desired temperatures, which results in higher monthly heating bills.

Improving your home’s indoor air quality is the second important role that your furnace’s air filter plays. Unfortunately, the filters that come with most heating systems are ill-equipped for this task. How well a filter can sift out pollutants is determined by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale. The generic spun-fiberglass panels on most furnaces have MERV ratings between 1 and 4, which is high enough to protect the furnace but too low to filter out small particulates from the air. Filters with too-high ratings, however, can restrict air low. The HVAC experts at Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose indoor air quality products with the MERV ratings best for your furnace.

How Often to Change Your Air Filters

Because clean air filters make a significant impact on furnace efficiency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends changing furnace air filters every month during the heating system. The agency also stresses that certain situations, such as homes with pets that shed hair, may call for more frequent changes. If your furnace runs continually during the heating season or if you have family members that suffer from asthma, allergies or chronic respiratory conditions, you may wish to check your air filter every week during the winter to ensure that it is clean.

Filter checks are just of the tasks performed during scheduled preventive maintenance service calls from Berkeley HVAC technicians. A seasonal maintenance tune-up helps ensure that every furnace component, from the air filter to the air ducts, is operating safely and efficiently. At Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve been providing quality products and superior customer service to the greater Charleston area for more than years 50 years. If you need help accessing your air filter or advice about which filter is best for your furnace, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help. Our goal is to keep your home comfortable in every season.

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