How To Clean Your Heating Filters

You want to make sure your heating unit will work as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.  The purpose of the air filter in your heating unit is to reduce the pollutants, soot, and allergens that get injected into the air of your living area.  This makes it very important to clean or replace your heating filters on a regular basis and if it has been more than a month since you last checked them, chances are it is time to clean them.

When your heating unit is circulating the air in your home, dust and dirt get trapped on your filter and can clog it up.  When this builds up on the filter, it makes your system run longer in order to maintain the set temperature in your home.  Most systems will have a disposable filter and you should check yours at least once a month and replace it when necessary.  Some have permanent filters that just need leaning and some heating units will have both.  By keeping your filter clean or replacing it when needed, you will be maximizing the energy efficiency of your heating unit.  It will also be good on your wallet since it will save you money in the long run by lowering your energy bill.  It is a good idea to replace your filter at least once a season and maybe once a month during the winter months so you won’t wake up sneezing.

First, sweep or vacuum the floor and area near and around your heating unit before you try to replace the filter, especially if this area is prone to dust bunnies and dust buildup.  Find the service panel on your unit.  It is normally located on the heating unit’s lower front or side.  Before you think about opening the service panel on your heating unit, be sure to turn the unit off.  Once off, pop open or pull down the panel door with your hands.  You will not need any tools to do this.  If you aren’t sure what the filter will look like, it will normally look like a framed-mesh rectangular screen.  It is usually inserted either horizontally or vertically near the intake-out take blower.  Once you locate your filter, slide it out and examine it.  Look for a brown, dusty buildup on the mesh screen.  If your filter is metal or plastic and is a reusable
or a permanent filter, then take it outside and rinse it out under the water hose in your backyard or driveway.  Allow the filter to either air dry or pat dry with a towel and then replace the filter back in to your heating unit.

On the other hand, if your heating unit filter is made up of a disposable cardboard frame, then you will need to write the size down and throw it away.  It will need replacing.  You can purchase a replacement filter at your local hardware or home supply store.  Just be sure to get the right size or you won’t get the efficiency your heating unit is capable of.

WARNING: Always follow all directions when replacing filters in your heating and air conditioning unit.  Make sure to wear or use the proper safety clothing and/or equipment when dealing with cleaning or replacing filters to prevent injuries or illnesses.

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