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Everything You Need To Know About Furnace Filters in Big Bear

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


A dirty air filter being vacuumed.Is your heat working overtime? Do you notice an odd odor in the air in your house? It could be time you considered your furnace filter. Too many people neglect to ever think about their filters, which can lessen the quality of your indoor air, as well as diminish the performance of your HVAC system. For example, a dirty furnace filter can do the following:

  • Impact air quality
  • Restrict air flow through your vents
  • Cause unpleasant smells in the house
  • Shorten your HVAC equipment’s lifespan

While changing the filter is not difficult to do, many people simply forget to do it. Others may not know what type of filter to choose. The good news is that our heating technicians can identify when your filter should be changed, help you select a future, and do the job for you during regular maintenance calls.

While it is recommended that you change your filter once a season, most people don’t change theirs for years – or even at all! Read on for some tips on when you should change your furnace filter based on your household situation.

Do you have any pets? Pet dander can cause a filter to get overly dirty very quickly. Some pet owners may even want to change their filters once per month. When your pet sheds, the air can float in the air and clog the filter. When the air passes through the filter and into your home, so can the odor of your pet, which can be unpleasant and highly noticeable.

Do you or someone in your family have allergies? This is another reason you may want to change out your filter on a monthly basis. Another option is to get a more powerful filter for your home. However, make sure that extra filtration does not overly restrict the airflow in your home. If you believe you need a more powerful filter, discuss the matter with an HVAC technician.

Do you smell something weird in your home? If you regularly smell odd odors in your home, it could mean that your furnace filter is the culprit, as something that smells may be trapped in the filter. If changing your filter does not address the problem, it could be a problem with your ductwork, and you should contact a technician to check it out.

Even if none of the above scenarios apply to you, it can never hurt to change our your filter on a monthly basis or at the very least, once a season. If you have regularly scheduled maintenance appointments, they can take care of it for you. Otherwise, make a note in your calendar to remind you, as many people won’t think about furnace filters regularly.

Choosing the Right Filter

When you go to change your filter on your own, you need to know how to select the right filter for your furnace and your home environment. This is critical to sustaining a clean and healthy home and air quality. The right furnace filter will effectively remove dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, allergens, and other pollutants from the air before it enters your home. You should also consider the recommendations and guidelines in your furnace manual, so you can ensure your system runs as effectively and efficiently as possible.

First, consider the filter size. Most filters are either 16 by 20 inches, 16 by 25 inches, or 20 by 25 inches, though other sizes can be available. If you look at your filter cabinet door, you can usually tell which size filter you need. If you don’t have an exact fit, air can slip through at the edges of your filter, preventing full filtration. Some manufacturers have filters that are compatible with other furnaces, but always check any compatibility information to be sure.

Next, think about the thickness of a filter, which can range from one inch to five inches. Thicker filters often last longer and can improve efficiency, though different system configurations can handle different thicknesses of filters.

You also want to ensure you have an efficient filter. The standard system for rating furnace filters is called a MERV rating, and it assigns each type of filter a numbered rating based on filtration effectiveness. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is in removing pollutants and contaminants. Most typical filters are rated a 10 on the MERV scale, though you may want to use a MERV 12 if you or a family member has asthma or allergies, or if you live in a particular dusty place.

Contact Our Big Bear Heating Company Today

Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating is here to help with all of your HVAC maintenance and repair needs in the Big Bear area. We are also available around the clock for emergency repairs. If you would like to schedule an appointment, request an estimate, or need immediate assistance, call 909-584-4376 or contact us online today!

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.

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