A furnace should last 15 years or more – as long as if it is properly maintained. One sure way to help your system reach its life span and operate efficiently is to perform an easy, do-it-yourself maintenance task – changing or cleaning your furnace’s air filter as often as the manufacturer recommends. In general, you should check the filter’s condition about once a month and change/clean it when necessary.
So here we are rapidly approaching winter and the question is, have you checked the air filter in your oil furnace since you started using it in the fall? If you haven’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Why changing furnace air filters is so important
A blocked air filter makes your furnace overwork to keep your home warm; that overwork can cause some real problems for you now and down the road, including:
- Higher bills – A clogged filter could raise your energy bills by up to 20%.
- Less comfort – Poor air circulation more than likely means that you will have cold zones in your Wisconsin home.
- Avoidable repairs – Left unattended, a blocked filter could eventually cause a problem that requires a costly repair to fix.
- A shorter lifespan – Consistent overwork could eventually wear down your furnace, robbing you of years of service for your heating system.
Changing your furnace filter
- Filters are located either inside the furnace or inside the return air vent.
- Some filter models are designed to be discarded and replaced with a new one.
- If your filter has a plastic frame, it can be cleaned and reused.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to shut the furnace off before handling the filter.
If you’re not sure how to change the air filter yourself but would like to, please contact your oilheat company for advice or ask your oilheat technician to give you a demonstration the next time he visits your home.