As the chill of winter finally breaks loose into the warmth of summer, Ohioans are dreaming of the ways to spend the dog days of summer.
Certainly cleaning your furnace filter most likely won’t make the list of the 5 Best Things to Do in Ohio in the summer, but it should be on your summer to-do list, especially if you’re considering selling your home in the near future.
Not only will you have a cleaner home if you clean your filter, but you can ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently and your home is ready for its next buyer.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how and why to clean a furnace filter.
Know the Importance of a Clean Filter
When you sell your home, you often think of things like trimming the tree branches or creating the most curb appeal.
But cleaning your furnace filter has a dual purpose: it makes your home better for you, the current occupants, and it can make it more appealing for future buyers.
First and foremost, a clean furnace filter can cut your heating and cooling bill significantly. Some experts claim your heating bill can drop by as much as 15 percent with a clean filter if you were previously running with a filthy one.
Think about this: as your furnace works to keep your home warm, it pumps heated air through the ducts and up into your vents. Before that air comes to you, it runs through a filter which stops all of the dust and allergens in it.
Improve Air Quality
A clean filter also makes your home cleaner and safer. If you suffer from allergies, a clean filter can make a world of difference as it catches the allergens and prevents them from filtering into your home.
Protect Your Furnace
A clean filter also protects your furnace. A clean furnace filter keeps your air clean and also stops the gunk from filtering into your furnace and damaging components.
If your filter is filthy or clogged, the furnace has to work that much harder to pump the air to you. It runs longer to make you warm. This also leads to unnecessary wear and tear on your HVAC system and premature death for the most important part of your home.
Ultimately, the clean furnace filter will make your furnace more efficient and your home more sellable.
Increase Your Home’s Salability
Often new buyers want proof of how much your utility bill costs. If you clean your filter now as you prepare to sell your home, you will have lower utility bills and thus a more appealing home.
You may be amazed at how much your utility bill goes down.
Determine Your Type of Filter
Not all furnaces have reusable furnace filters. Some use a costly disposable filter.
So before you break out the rubber gloves and the dish detergent, determine what type of furnace filter you have. Locate the filter and pull it out (after you shut off your furnace).
If your filter has a cardboard frame and fiberglass inside, you need to head down to the local department store with about $20 because you should just replace the filter rather than wash it.
You wouldn’t want to clean that filter. It would fall apart the moment you attempted to scrub it.
If you pull out the filter and it has metal housings, you’re in luck because you get to clean your furnace filter now and save yourself some money.
Basic Steps to Clean a Furnace Filter
As stated earlier, before you do anything, turn off the HVAC system. Your filter catches all the dirt, debris, and basic allergens that would otherwise puff through your ventilation system.
You do not want the HVAC system running without the junk-stopping filter to catch the junk.
Locate your filter. It will be somewhere near your furnace, and it will often just slide right now.
Before you slide out the filter and walk over to where you will clean it, pay attention to how you removed it. Make sure you either take a picture with your phone or write down the proper way to slide it back in.
You do not want to put your filter in backward.
Once you’ve removed the filter, go outside or somewhere where you can leave some dirt, and give the filter a solid shake to release the loosest pieces of debris.
Then pull out your vacuum (make sure that machine’s filter is clean too). Give the filter a thorough vacuuming with a brush vacuum attachment.
The brush attachment will allow you to reach more crevices than a basic wand would.
Now it’s time to relax and fill the bathtub up with some soapy water. You have the loose debris off the filter, so now you can stick it in the tub and give it a gentle scrub with some mild soap.
Once you’ve given the filter a good scrub, take it out, dry it off as best as possible, and then let it finish air drying for a while.
Do not put a damp furnace filter back into the furnace.
Then crank the HVAC system back on and take a deep breath because you’re now breathing cleaner air.
Take a Deep Breath
Your furnace is one of the most costly items in your home. Your furnace filter is one of the cheapest items.
It only makes sense to take the time to protect the most costly item by caring for the least expensive item.
Furthermore, cleaning the filter costs you no more than just a little bit of time. A new furnace will take up more than just the few minutes you use to scrub your furnace filter.
As you look ahead to what you must do to prepare your home to sell so you can fully enjoy the summer months, contact us for your home inspection.