This Spring, Clean Your Home’s Air With Furnace (And Filter) Maintenance

With the snow melting and temperatures steadily rising, it looks like spring has once again returned to the GTA. With the lengthening days and much more tolerable weather, many Torontonians like to roll up their sleeves and get to work on some satisfying spring-cleaning. So if you’re committed to an out with the old, in with the new philosophy, why not also take the time to clean up your house’s air?

That’s right — a proper clean can (and should) even include the air in your home. The best place to start a major airing out and cleanup of household oxygen is with your furnace. Or, more specifically, with your furnace’s filter. You’ve been diligent throughout the winter and inspected your dirty filter multiple times, right?

No? Well, if you haven’t, you’re letting a lot of foul air pass through your home, and you may be endangering your furnace’s longevity. Of course, how often you’ll have to inspect or totally replace your filter will depend on what type you have (fibreglass filters are typically the shortest-lasting). Remember, pleated, eco-friendly, and electrostatic filters from major brands (like Filtrete, Web, True Blue, and Honeywell) are easy to find; Microparticle Reduction Filters and Micro Allergen Reduction Filters are available from most hardware stores across the city and are generally inexpensive.

The hard working furnace filter isn’t there just to make your air cleaner; it’s to make sure the inner workings of your furnace stay as dust-free as possible. So whether you have a disposable or washable filter, make sure you get rid of the dust, dander, hair, and other air-borne debris that it collects. Each filter you purchase will come with a MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the score, the more the unit can filter out. Low MERV-rated filters (1–4) can handle dust mites, pollen, textile fibres, and sanding dust, while mid-range (5–12) can even stop legionella, exhaust fumes, mould spores, hair spray, cement dust, and more. The highest-rated filters can trap bacteria and cigarette smoke, but this is only appropriate for hospitals and major commercial institutions. If you suffer from allergies or breathing-related ailments, then you should seriously consider investing in a great residential allergen-reduction filter. The right kind of air filter can really make a profound difference to the air quality in your home for all kinds of people, so don’t suffer along without one!

Replacing your filter should be an easy process, but would benefit from some planning. Shut off your furnace, clean the area around it, and bring a vacuum if you haven’t done this in a while. If, for whatever reason, you would like some help identifying what filter is best for your furnace, replacing or maintaining it, or in any other task involving your home heating source, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of expert technicians and appliance repair specialists. We can schedule a visit quickly and help you make your 2015 spring-clean even more thorough!