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04/18 - Renovation

How Do I Change My Furnace Air Filter?

How to Maintain Your Furnace's Air Filter |

Why Does My Furnace Air Filter Need to be Changed?

Heating with natural gas is the inexpensive, efficient choice for most Toronto homeowners. However, it’s not entirely maintenance-free. It is always important to stay on top of and maintain your furnace air filter, regularly. This is especially essential if you heat with natural gas and notice your house is smelling a little musty. Or, if you find yourself rubbing your eyes or feeling a little hay-feverish, you’ll want to check it out. In other words, if your dust bunnies are starting to colonize, it might be time to change your air filter.  


How Does it Work?

The filter traps dust, pet hair and other airborne dirt, and ensures the warm air that flows through your home is as clean as possible. This is also the case for cold air, if you have central air conditioning. Some filters also screen out pollen, mildew, and even bacteria. With this in mind, if you don’t change the filter regularly – say, every couple of months – it’ll get clogged up with all that gunk. The dirtier the filter, the harder the furnace has to work to suck in returning air. This will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your expensive furnace and will drive your heating bill up. Worse, more of the airborne nasties will stay in your home! Who wants to breathe in that stuff?  


How to Change Your Furnace Air Filter

Changing the filter is usually a pretty simple task.

  1. On most furnaces, the filter lives in a vertical slot low down on one side of the unit. In fact, it just slides out easily. If you can’t find the filter, check the manual or the manufacturer’s website, or just call your natural gas provider.
  2. Take out the filter and hold it up to a light. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to pick up a new one. Most home supply stores like Rona or Home Depot sell a wide range of furnace filters. If you’re a little nervous about picking one out, just bring the old one to the store and ask the friendly salesperson to help you choose.
  3. TIP: if you bring the old filter with you, remember to turn the furnace off before you leave the house. (And then remember to turn it back on when the new filter is installed. Duh.).
  4. If you are worried about throwing out all of those used filters, inquire about a washable reusable filter. It will cost you more up front, but save you money in the long run, and the environment will thank you. (Here, I have to add that with washable filters you get the gross but satisfying job of washing that thing out every month in a laundry sink or bathtub. Doing that even ONCE will make you realize just how effective and important the filter is!)
  5. Take it home and slide it into place, (turn the furnace back on, did I say that?), breathe deeply, and feel both competent AND virtuous – for a couple of months, anyway.


Ready to get started?

It’s important to change your furnace air filter! Try it, and if you have questions, you can always #AskFM. Get in touch with us, anytime.  


This article is written by Fox Marin Sales Representative, Ian Busher. With an extensive background in carpentry and contracting, Ian is our resident “Renovations Expert”! He takes pride in his ability to assess the quality and condition of a house. This, in tandem with his talent for speaking to the feasibility and cost of potential renovations, and his eye for the aesthetic details of a property, makes him a powerful partner for anyone looking to buy a home in the Toronto real estate market.