You may or may not realize it but there are so many filters throughout your household. Heck, even before reading this, you may have just tossed out your coffee filter after making a fresh pot.
With these many filters throughout the home, it is important to maintain a schedule of cleaning and/or replacing them to make for a healthier and safer household for you and your loved ones.
Knowing The Filters In Your Home
Air conditioning and HVAC filters are often the most neglected in the household, as we go through months at a time using the air conditioner and furnace, forgetting about changing the air filter regularly. A furnace filter is one of the most important house filters — requiring regular changing and cleaning as it can become overwhelmed with dust. It is especially important for pet owners, or if anyone in your home has asthma or allergies.
Some HVAC systems have humidifiers throughout the home that dispense moisture with heat. Most come with disposable pads or filters that are designed to absorb mineral deposits and water impurities.
If you have a clothes dryer within your household, it’s important to be aware of the lint and dust accrued in your filter. This buildup creates a potential fire hazard, as well as issues with the exhaust ductwork connecting your dryer.
Refrigerators with ice makers and indoor water dispensers should also be evaluated, as well as vacuum cleaners.
When To Clean And Change Your Filters
It is important to maintain a regular schedule and recognize each of the filters within your household so that they get the proper care and routine maintenance they, deserve.
A furnace filter should be cleaned anywhere between 30 to 90 days, so that it does not become caked with dust, affecting allergies and breathing for pets and small children. HVAC systems don’t require as frequent upkeep, with experts suggesting semiannual service, once or twice a year.
Refrigerators operate on a similar schedule, most manufacturers recommending replacing the filters for indoor water dispensers to assure cleaner liquid with fewer impurities. The same goes for automatic ice dispensers.
The only filter in your home that requires consistent daily care is your dryer filter. You should be sure to clean out your lint trap after every cycle, and regularly take a wet cloth to the filter to remove any excess lint or lingering odor.
Changing Your Filters Safely
Changing old filters can be burdensome, but homeowners must also be sure to be careful to avoid injury, and understand when it is best to call in a service professional to handle changing filters out. That is one instance of how to avoid hurting yourself in the kitchen, basement, or anywhere else in your home.
For HVAC systems, calling in for a biannual repair will assure a safe change for greater airflow, without the risk of certain degrees of burns that can be suffered by failure to properly handle a furnace. This will assure clean air regardless of the season with heat or cool air through your HVAC unit. The entire system can be further inspected by an HVAC professional, who can look for issues with coils and gaskets, and give a regular maintenance check for the entire air system.
When cleaning filters by yourself, experts recommend covering your face and hands when handling a dirty air filter to avoid inhaling any toxins like mold. Be sure to clean filters using warm water, not scolding hot, avoiding second-degree burns. If you are looking to get your indoor air filter back up to standard, be sure to pat dry with a towel after cleaning.