A few neat ideas to help you remember to change your furnace’s air filter.
As a Home Inspector in Ann Arbor, I see a lot of furnaces and a lot of furnace filters while out in the field doing home inspections. More times than not, they are dirty and are in dire need of immediate replacement. Most homeowners have the best intentions in changing out their filters on a regular basis, while others do not even know they should do so! For those of you who mean to and those who don’t know – changing your furnace filter is critical to the overall health and well-being of you, your family AND your expensive equipment.
A dirty filter can lead to many problems in which a complete failure of your HVAC system could occur. I hate to be so harsh, but yes, not changing out that $14 dollar paper thingie could really be costly! A dusty filter makes the your fan motor work overtime costing you more money for utilities and a ton of stress on your unit. Also, your overall indoor air quality can suffer immensely causing an aggravation of allergies and asthma related sicknesses.
How often should we be changing our filters? Well – it depends, as every household is different. The best practice? Visually check your filters on the same day every month. Do this especially during the months where you are using the furnace the most. If they look dirty – they are dirty! It’s peace of mind for less than 50 cents a day!
Here are few reminders and tips for making this “chore” a little easier each month!
- Set an iCal or Microsoft Office Calendar monthly reminder.
- Buy and program a “smart thermostat” to remind you! The latest trend is in “smart” home technologies. Manufacturer’s such as NEST and Honeywell make devices that allow you to program such monthly reminders so you don’t forget!
- Set the same day of the month – every month! Make it the easiest (and most fun) part of paying your mortgage, giving your dog her heartworm pill or paying the lender for the car. Take a break and head down to the basement to change the filter on your furnace! BAM! DONE!
One last helpful tip on making the changing your furnace filter effortless –
Buy a one year supply of filters. You may even get a case discount at your local hardware store! Once home, individually label each filter for a month of the year. Super easy right? Now this laborious chore is over and your furnace and family is happy!