At Klinke Cleaners, we’re constantly looking for ways to advocate for the environment. In addition to using non-toxic cleaning solution and eco-friendly equipment, our thoughts often turn to other opportunities where we can make a positive difference in our world. In this series, we’ll be talking about easy ways to winterize your home — which leads to a reduction in the use of natural resources. Today, let’s focus on the benefits of regularly changing your furnace’s air filter.

Changing Your Furnace Filter
Did you know it’s typically recommended that you change the air filter in your furnace once every 1-3 months? Certain criteria, like whether or not you have pets and how often you dust, will determine just how often the filter needs to be changed. Your best bet is to check the filter on a monthly basis, at least for a few months until you gauge when you typically need to change it. However, when you do decide that it needs changing, you might want to use a professional Vancouver, WA Air Duct Cleaning company to ensure that the process is done properly.

Winter is always the most demanding time for your furnace filter, especially in Wisconsin, and it’s important to keep it clean for optimal efficiency (and air quality). A dirty filter restricts airflow and can increase energy demand. Remembering to change your furnace’s air filter is as easy as marking it off on your calendar — or if you have a smartphone, set a reminder to alert you.

Understanding an Air Filter’s “MERV” Rating
If you’ve ever purchased a filter for your furnace, you’ve probably noticed they’re labeled with the acronym MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This acronym is always followed by a number. The higher the number, the more airborne contaminants the filter removes from the air. The cost also increases as the MERV number goes up.

Deciding which MERV rating is right for you depends on the particular needs of your family. Even a basic filter will remove a good amount of allergens like dust, pet dander and pollen. But if you need a higher percentage of these allergens removed, or if you’re concerned about dust mites, mold spores and bacteria, you’re going to have to opt for a more expensive filter with a higher MERV rating. The good news is that each MERV rating is accompanied by specific details on what that particular filter removes from the air.

Some homeowners opt for permanent filters, which reduce waste and do a better job of controlling the bacteria, mold, viruses and pollen in the household. The upfront cost of a permanent filter ranges anywhere from an additional $50-$1,000+ more than a disposable filter. HEPA filters are another capable option, removing at least 99.97% of airborne particles. 

Bonus Tip: Run Your Ceiling Fan in Reverse
Are you as big a fan of fans as we are? They’re an excellent way to cool off during summer months without turning the air conditioner on. But did you know that reversing the direction of your ceiling fans to the clockwise direction can make your home warmer? This occurs because a reversed fan pushes down the hot air off of the ceiling. This can lower your heating costs by up to 10%! To reverse the fan’s direction, look for the little black switch that’s typically located on the side of the fan’s cylinder and switch it to the opposite position. Just make sure you remember to switch it back when spring arrives.

Thank you for visiting Klinke Cleaners. We hope these tips help!