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ALPs Blog
Mar 2014 11

Keep Your Filters Clean

Posted in Efficiency, HVAC Education, Maintenance

One of the most important things you can do to keep your heating and ac system healthy and functioning is keep the filters clean.800px-Air_filter,_opel_astra(2)

How often you need to clean or change your filter depends on what kind of filter it is and the environment of your home. The easiest rule to follow is clean it when it’s dirty. There are some advanced filtering systems that last for a long time. The instructions here apply to most standard air filters that need to be cleaned or changed often. Usually this is every 30-60 days, but it will depend a lot on environment.

Homes with more people or pets have more pollutants in the air so the filter needs to be changed more often. People with allergies may depend on a clean filter to keep allergens out of the air and want to clean theirs more often as well.

When it is time for a clean filter, you can follow a few easy steps to swap out for a new one or clean and replace the one you have.

Find the filter

The filter will usually be in the furnace unit or in your home’s ductwork. Usually, filters are pretty easy to remove. They slide right out either on their own or after a few screws or latches have been undone.

You should use your system’s manual to easily locate the filter and find out how to remove it properly. Also use the manual to find out if your filter can be cleaned and put back or if it is disposable and needs to be replaced by a new filter.

Replace

If you need to replace your filter, make sure you know what you need from the new one. Measure the old filter and look for any identification numbers on it. Take these details with you to the store to make sure you get a filter that will fit in your system.

You will be able to choose from filters of varying cost and effectiveness. Cheaper filters can be less efficient at cleaning your air and may need to be changed more often.

Clean

If you have a reusable filter, it needs to be cleaned. Start by going over the screen with a vacuum hose to get the big particles of dust and dirt off. Then, you can rinse it with a hose or soak it in a tub of water.

You should keep rinsing the filter until the water running through it comes out clean. To remove bacteria, you can add a little bit of vinegar to the water and let the filter soak in it for up to an hour.

Afterwards, let the filter dry completely.

Insert the Clean Filter

Put the clean filter in the same way you took the dirty one out. Make sure to place the filter into the system with the correct side facing out.

Enjoy your clean air and don’t forget to repeat this process often.

You can also look into filter options that will last a lot longer. In this video Alps Project Manager Joey Gibellino talks about the benefits of a media filter that keeps air cleaner than a standard filter and only needs to be changed about once a year.
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