Many Edmonton homes rely on a furnace as their primary heat source. If this is the case for your home, you want to be sure that your furnace remains in good working order. Regular maintenance is easy. One of the easiest maintenance items is knowing when to replace your furnace filter. Doing so is a crucial step for avoiding expensive repairs or even a furnace replacement.

What is a Furnace Filter?

The furnace filter is an integral component of your furnace unit. It works by keeping dust and dirt from damaging the blower fan. Continuing to use a filter that is clogged and need of replacement causes your furnace to work harder, risking damage and ultimately a breakdown.

When Does it Need to be Replaced?

It is recommended to check your furnace filter every 30 days and to replace it every 3 months. However, there are some signs you can look for that indicate your filter needs to be changed.

1. Dirt and Dust Build Up On Filter

Compare the surface around the furnace vent to the areas surrounding the furnace. If the vent area is visibly dusty while the surrounding area is not, then the filter needs to be replaced. You can also remove the filter and watch for a noticeable release of pressure, which indicates a build up of dirt and dust.

2. More Dust Than Usual In Your Home

If dust is returning to your home’s surfaces quickly even with regular cleaning, its a sign that the furnace filter is not doing its job. Maintaining a clean filter ensures that most dust and allergens are trapped before they are circulated into the air around your home.

3. The Furnace Cycles Longer Than Normal

When a furnace filter is not functioning properly, the furnace needs to work harder in order to pump out air. This leads to the furnace running longer than usual in order to attain the temperature set on the thermostat. You may also notice that even though your furnace is running, there is significantly less heat being produced. In some cases, the furnace may begin cycling cool air.

This is a major indication that it’s time to replace your furnace filter.

4. Current Filter Exceeds Manufacturer’s Recommendation

Every furnace filter is packaged with a recommended guideline for length of use. Different products vary in this time-frame.

When you install a new filter, write the expiration date on the filter before you swap it in. Also, check your furnace to see what kind of filter the manufacturer recommends. If you’re not sure what type of filter to buy, one of our expert HVAC technicians will be more than happy to help.

5. Burning Smell or Overheating

If you notice a burning smell coming for your furnace, of it the back of the unit is hot to the touch, it’s an indication that the unit is overheating. One of the first things you should do in this case is check the furnace filter. A furnace may overheat due to struggling to push air through a clogged filter. A burning smell is often one of the last signs before serious damage occurs.

What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Change Your Filter

Not changing out your furnace filter when necessary can lead to minor problems, such as a clogged filter, or more costly issues such as increased energy consumption (and a higher energy bill) or damage to the furnace unit. If left for long enough, a clogged filter can even result in a complete furnace failure.

If you have any questions about replacing your filters, or anything else related to your home’s furnace, do not hesitant to contact Peak Hydronics.