Central heating and air conditioning systems are truly wonderful additions to our modern homes. With the flick of a switch and the twist of a dial, homeowners can keep their entire house comfortably warm in the winter and refreshingly cool in the summer.
Central heating and air conditioning systems also allow homeowners to enjoy a cleaner house than was possible in days gone by. Wood stoves, independent room heaters, window fans and room air conditioners don’t provide the filtration that central heating and air conditioning systems afford homeowners.
Central heating and air conditioning systems use filters to help keep the re-circulating air in the house cleaner. Some of these filters are of the permanent type, while others are disposable after a single term of use. Both types require the occasional attention of the homeowner to ensure that they are working at peak efficiency. There are three primary reasons to ensure that these air filtration systems are regularly maintained:
- Dirty filters restrict air flow. This reduces the heating and cooling efficiency of the systems. That means the system must run longer and work harder to maintain the selected temperature. And that means using more power and fuel for the same effect.
- Dirty air filters become less efficient at removing dust, pollen and dirt from the air that is being re-circulated throughout the house. This means a dirtier house and more airborne debris.
- The airborne pathogens that cause illnesses become trapped in the filters. But over time, and as the filter becomes dirtier, these pathogens can be released back into the home.
Properly maintaining the air filtration system in a central heating and air conditioning system is quite simple and inexpensive. And when you consider the fact that a clean air filter reduces strain on the system, it’s the kind of preventive maintenance that pays for itself.
Permanent air filters should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most often, this only requires a receptacle to clean the filter in, a cleaner designed for filters and water. If you’re not sure how to properly clean your air filter, ask one of the staff at Steadman’s Ace Hardware of Miles City – they’ll be glad to explain the process and provide you with anything you need.
Disposable air filters come in a variety of sizes, types and filtration levels. To service these filters, simply remove the old one and replace it with a new one. Most often, central heating and air conditioning systems use standard size disposable air filters. Some systems require non-standard size air filters. Steadman’s Ace Hardware of Miles City carries a complete line of standard size air filters for central heating and air conditioning systems – and we’ll gladly cut a custom size filter to fit your system.
SERVICING YOUR AIR FILTER
Here are some tips to ensure that you maximize the life and efficiency of your air filter.
- Be sure to turn your system off before your start cleaning your air filter.
- When you remove your dirty filter, have a large plastic trash bag handy. Place the filter carefully into the bag to transport it either outside for cleaning or to the trash. This will prevent contaminants from falling into the air and onto your floors.
- Use a shop vacuum or the nozzle of your house vacuum to remove the loose dust and dirt that accumulates around the air filter housing area. If necessary, use a spray on cleaner on areas that need it. Sometimes, sticky airborne contaminants attach in these areas – such as kitchen grease – and attract/hold filth.
- Some people like to use an antibacterial spray inside the air filter compartment before replacing the air filter. Be sure to allow the spray time to dry before replacing the air filter and turning the system back on.
If you have questions about maintaining your central heating and air conditioning system air filters, sales associates at Steadman’s Ace Hardware of Miles City are here to help.