Furnace Filter Tips – How to Care For and Clean Air Filters
This is just a friendly reminder to clean your furnace filter. It is all too easy since it is a permanent filter, to forget about it, but permanent does not mean no cleaning required! We have furnace filters both at our home and office. The home only seems to need cleaning every 3-4 months, as our house is located in a nice clean suburb of Boston. My husband takes the filter outside and runs the garden hose over it until it runs clean. Given the environment in which we live, the color of the water is not that noticeably dirty. We let the furnace filter dry completely before reinstalling it.
Our office, located in a polluted industrial area of town is another matter. Every time we clean the multiple furnace filters which are located on the roof, we get a sharp reminder that these filters really do work.
When we clean the furnace filters at work, we spray a non-toxic spray cleaner on both sides of the filter. We then rinse each side with a garden hose, until there is no evidence of dirt notated mostly by the color of the water. Initially, the water is black but it eventually becomes clear. We then allow the filters to dry thoroughly. You can expedite the drying by setting the filters in the sun or by running a fan on them. Once they are completely dry we reinstall them. The recommendation in general, is to clean your furnace filters roughly every 2 to 4 months depending on the pollution level of the area you live in. In our case, every 2 months is needed. The importance of cleaning your furnace filters is mainly twofold. The first is to prevent any loss of airflow in your central air system. The second, is electrostatic filters rely on their ability to attract the particulates by their opposite charge which will diminish as the surface area becomes more and more covered with particulates. The biggest reduction in efficiency will be for the smaller particulates, because the larger ones will have a better chance of being captured by the filter’s surface area because they are large enough to not pass through the filter.