How to Clean Your Furnace Filter

Have you been putting off cleaning the furnace filter area in your home? Do you feel it’s a tedious task and thinking about it just makes your toes curl? Well, think again. Keeping furnace filters clean is a lot more important that you think, since they catch a lot of dust and dirt and can cause several respiratory health hazards. Moreover, a clean furnace air filter increases the efficiency of the furnace, thus minimizing energy bills as well as repair costs.

If you plan on keeping the furnace running continuously all winter, it would do you a great deal of good to inspect the furnace filter no less than once a month. In case you use disposable furnace air filters made of fiber glass, it is recommended that you consider getting a permanent furnace filter. Filters made of fiber glass are not recommended. Reusable furnace filters are dependable, and can be purchased for less than fifty dollars. This is definitely a smart investment that will save you a lot of money on filters, and not to mention, on energy. Honeywell furnace filters are an example of reusable filters. If cleaning really gets to you, you may be surprised to learn that cleaning furnace filters is not as hard as you imagined it to be.

Needless to say, always start by turning off the power to the furnace. Next, find the service panel and get it open. This task might need a screw driver depending on the type of furnace that you have. Locate the furnace filter which looks like a spongy, rectangular, framed-mesh screen and is usually located vertically or horizontally beside the intake–outtake blower. Slowly pull the furnace filter out of its slot and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see through the filter, that’s an indication that the furnace filter needs cleaning. Even if the filter does not appear overly dirty, there’s no harm in cleaning it anyway. If you have a disposable furnace filter, then it’s time to replace it.

In the case of a reusable filter, take it to the utility sink or use a hose pipe to rinse the dust particles away with water. It’s preferable to do this somewhere outside the house, like in the driveway or the backyard. Leave it to dry and then place the filter back into the furnace. You can now safely say that you have a clean and energy-efficient filter.