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Furnace Filters YAAAAY

20 May 2009

Most of the time, energy efficient actions are not terribly annoying.  I mean, washing clothes in cold water or unplugging appliances may not be the most exhilarating activities, but they’re not inherently painful either.  As we get into the cooling season here in Minnesota, however, I find myself thinking more and more about one of the more annoying energy efficient actions that everyone should do.  Well, everyone with a forced-air furnace and central air conditioner.

It’s time to change the filter. And holy buckets, it does make a difference when you don’t change them regularly!  The Builders Association of Minnesota warns that improper furnace maintenance, including not replacing filters, can lead to “increased energy bills and repair costs, decreased heating efficiency, shorter appliance life, a small problem can become an expensive repair.”  Changing your furnace filters once a month in the summer goes a long way to keeping your system working properly and efficiently.  And yes, it is totally annoying and nit picky, but here are a few ways to make it easier:

  1. Go out and buy a bunch of filters. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the expensive, HEPA filters that promise to block even suspicious-looking molecules of air.  Just buy whatever seems like a good price and buy five or ten.  It’s easier to remember to change the filter when you have them on hand.
  2. Mark filter days on your calendar. It’s like giving your dog heartworm pills.  You aren’t really looking forward to it, but it’s not a huge hassle and it keeps your dog healthy.  This is just like that, only it’s keeping your furnace and bank account happy!
  3. Write the date on the filter. When you change your filter once a month from now on, you’re going to write the date on the filter, right?  So if you’re ever wondering how long it’s been since you changed it, you’ll know!

I know, it’s annoying and not very sexy.  But keeping your furnace and AC fit and happy is a good idea!

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