Cleaning a Home Furnace Filter to Improve Efficiency
Cleaning your home’s furnace filter regularly can help improve its efficiency and save you money on maintenance and repair costs. With most furnace models, it is quite easy to pull out the filter and clean it yourself. Disposable furnace filters are often used, but the reusable type are usually more economical over the long run. Here is a quick guide to inspecting and cleaning your home’s furnace filter on your own.
Cleaning a home furnace filter: When to clean it
It is best to check your furnace filter each month, especially during the winter months when the heater will be run more than usual. Using disposable fiberglass furnace filters has become more popular in recent years, but these disposable filters will end up costing you more over the long run. Reusable furnace filters are usually less than $50 and can be used over and over again, as long as you take the time to clean them when they become clogged. Reusable filters are also much more eco-friendly than the disposable fiberglass variety.
Cleaning a home furnace filter: Taking out the filter
Cleaning your home’s reusable furnace filter is simple, as long as you follow a few easy steps. First, be sure to shut off the electricity and disconnect any gas source that is fueling your home’s heating system. Working on the furnace while it is still connected to an energy source can be very dangerous. Open the service panel on your home’s furnace. Not all furnace doors open the same way, so check your owner’s manual to see if you need any tools to open the door for maintenance. Pull out the furnace filter and inspect it to determine if it is dirty and in need of cleaning. If you cannot see through it when you hold the filter up to a bright light, it should be cleaned. When in doubt, you might as well clean the furnace filter since you already have it disassembled. The more frequently you clean your home’s filter, the better your furnace’s performance will be.
Cleaning a home furnace filter: Removing the debris
The first step in cleaning a reusable furnace filter is to vacuum off any dust and debris that has built up on the furnace surface.
The next step to clean a reusable furnace filter is to take it out in your backyard and use a garden hose to spray off all of the dirt and debris. If you live in an apartment or other area where this is not feasible, you may want to take the filter down to a do-it-yourself car wash and use their high pressure hoses to spray down the filter.
Wait until the filter is completely dry before putting it back into your home’s furnace system so that it will not become moldy or reclog.