The utility company won't send you a check or issue a refund when you save money on your heating bill, but it may help to think in these visual terms so that you remember how you can save energy (and money) by regularly inspecting and replacing your furnace filters.
Your filter performs a powerhouse function: trapping dust and particles so that the blower motor on your furnace can operate at peak efficiency. The filter also keeps the air in your home cleaner and easier to breathe, which is especially important during a season when Ohioans are indoors a lot, and typically don't open their windows to let in fresh, outdoor air. Your loved ones who suffer from allergies or fall victim to the dreaded winter-long cold and flu bug will be especially grateful.
You should get in the habit of checking your furnace filter once a month -- say, after you pay your utility bill. You may have to replace the filter only once every three months, depending on how hard you run your furnace and its general condition. But for good measure, you should grab your furnace's owner manual and a flashlight, and spend a few minutes every month on this potentially cost-saving measure. Make sure you have a replacement filter on hand first.
To inspect your furnace filters:
- Turn off electrical power to your furnace, and then locate the filter. It is located in either the blower compartment, in an attached filter case or in a wall-mounted return air grille.
- Remove the grille or open the panel door. You can usually do this with your hands alone, without tools. Once open, you should see the filter -- a mesh screen that is installed either horizontally or vertically.
- Remove the filter and inspect it for dirt by holding it up to a light. If you can't see through it, it's time for a new one.
- Slide in the new filter, and then close the grille or panel door. For good measure, vacuum around the area.
For more information about ways in which you can save money on your heating bills this winter, contact the experts at Joe Behr Heating and Plumbing, Inc. We can answer any questions that you may have about your furnace, and have been proudly serving Mid-Ohio residents for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.