What do you think of when you hear the word filter? Maybe the spam filter on your emails. Or the air filter in your car. Did you think about the air filter for your home’s heating system? Probably not—and that’s why we want to have this talk with you. The air filter (also known as the blower filter) for your HVAC system is important for how it operates, and it needs occasional attention or it can cause mild to severe problems for your home’s heating.
Don’t worry, this isn’t extremely complicated, and we’re not asking you to take on major work on your heater. You only need to know the basics about the filter and how to change it. Once you do, you’ll enjoy better heating results and avoid future troubles.
The Job of the Blower Filter
We’ll first tell you what this filter does not do, but which many people assume it does. It does not clean the air in your home. It removes some dust that might circulate through the house, but won’t have any significant impact on air quality. If you’re looking for an air cleaning filter, i.e. a whole-house filter, you can contact our technicians to arrange for an installation
The actual job of the blower filter is to protect the interior of the heating system from an infestation of dust, lint, dander, and any other debris that comes through the return air ducts. The blower assembly pulls air through this filter, and the filter traps unwanted particles so they don’t enter the HVAC cabinet. Without the filter in place, the heater would soon be clotted up with dust and rapidly wear down.
Changing the Blower Filter
Since this filter isn’t self-cleaning, it will continue to collect debris until it becomes clogged. This takes from 1-3 months depending on the strength of the filter. Basic panel filters will become too dirty after only a month, while pleated filters will often last for 3 months. When the filter becomes congested, you’ll need to change it.
This isn’t difficult. First, locate the filter. It will either be in a slot next to the blower assembly on the heater (at the point where the return air duct connects to the HVAC cabinet) or behind the cover of the return air duct in the house. Slide the current filter out and put a clean filter in, making sure it’s facing the correct direction. The filter will have arrows on it to show which direction it needs to face. That’s all there is to it!
The Consequences of a Clogged Filter
What happens if you don’t regularly change the filter and leave a clogged one in place? Lots of problems!
- A decline in energy efficiency and a rise in your heating bills
- A drop in airflow from the vents
- A loss of heating power
- Dust and dirt contamination slipping around the vent and into the heater
- The HVAC system overheating and shutting down
When you regularly change the blower filter, you’ll help avoid heating repair in Fairfax, VA and enjoy reliable and energy-saving warmth.