Just as you probably have a whole routine you follow each spring when it is time to take your air conditioner out of hibernation and put it back to work, so too is it great to have a set fall routine.
Following certain steps before you power on your furnace for the first time in the fall can similarly safeguard your wallet, your home, and your family’s health.
For starters, the more efficiently your furnace operates, the less you will spend on utilities costs during the winter season. Also, when you know your furnace is in good overall repair and is operating safely, you can ease your mind about potential fire.
Most importantly, a furnace that is in good repair and operating efficiently and effectively will also produce the cleanest, freshest indoor air. This last benefit goes beyond simple peace of mind or cost savings to ensure the best health and quality of life for you and your loved ones during the cold season.
In this article, we present our favourite timely fall furnace tips for keeping your indoor air supply clean, fresh and pure during fall and winter.
1. Change your furnace air filter at least monthly
We have been in operation for many years now, and we have yet to meet anyone who thinks changing their furnace filter qualifies as “fun.”
But what can be fun is seeing your decreased utility bills when your furnace operates more efficiently because the air filter is clean.
It can also be quite fun to know you are not breathing in airborne toxins that have built up on your furnace air filter and gotten pushed back out into your indoor air supply.
2. Clean, dust, and vacuum your air registers and exhaust vents
Dirty air registers and exhaust vents can also cause toxic indoor air as well as illness.
Over time, it is quite common for these components to build up an extra layer of dust and debris. This is especially true for vent covers that open to the outdoors. In fact, birds, insects, and rodents often add their own debris when they decide these air vents will make a perfect winter shelter!
This can then become a fire hazard as well as an indoor air quality safety risk. You can use a vacuum with a HEPA-rated filter and an attachment nozzle to vacuum even small dust and particulate matter out of these air registers and vents periodically throughout the cold season.
3. Have your indoor air duct system professionally cleaned
The next time you go to clean your air registers and exhaust vents, notice how much dust and debris you are cleaning away that has built up since the last time you did this preventative maintenance.
Then try to recall the last time your indoor air duct system was cleaned out. If you are like so many homeowners today, you won’t have any idea when, or if, this service has ever been done!
Over the years, large quantities of dust, particulate matter, and debris can build up inside your air duct system. This is particularly true for any home that is 10 years old or older where there is no record of the air ducts ever having been professionally cleaned.
This would be similar to leaving your home for a 10-year vacation—how much dust do you think would be layering the counters and furnishings when you returned?
When you have your indoor air duct system professionally cleaned and sanitized, all of that built-up and forgotten dust and debris is securely removed in a way that ensures none of it re-enters your indoor air supply.
This is equivalent to hitting an indoor air quality “reset” button to purify and cleanse your entire indoor air supply!
4. Upgrade your furnace filter or filtration system
The key to upgrading your furnace filter is to match the filter with the furnace. For instance, a furnace with a low MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating will be able to take only an air filter with a matching rating.
You can find out what the MERV rating is for your particular furnace unit by consulting the manual or calling the manufacturer directly.
If you discover that your unit will not permit you to upgrade to a higher quality of furnace filter, you still have another option. You can install a whole-home HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system.
This type of system can work with any furnace that is connected to a network of central ducts. The HEPA filtration system works externally to filter the air as it comes out of your furnace, ensuring even the smallest possible toxic airborne particles are filtered out before the air enters your ducts on its way to each room in your home.
5. Use a heat recovery ventilator (air exchanger) with your furnace
Another wonderful option to improve the quality of your indoor air supply is to install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or air exchanger that works with your furnace to ensure that only the cleanest, purest air circulates throughout your home.
An HRV pushes out stale inside air using a completely separate channel from the one that draws in clean and well-oxygenated air. At the same time, it is effortlessly heat- and humidity-balancing your indoor air so you don’t deal with the health effects of too-dry or too-moist air during the cold season.
Save 20 Percent on All Indoor Air Quality Components
How would you like to save 20 percent on the cost of any whole home HEPA filter, whole home UV filtration system, heat recovery ventilator, or whole home humidifier?
Right now, when you take part in our Breathe Clean Air event, you can save on the components that will clean, purify, and oxygenate your indoor air for years to come!
To learn more, give us a call at 905-544-2470 or just fill out this simple online form!