LESLIE: Lot of people have prepping for winter on their mind like Dorothy in Chicago who listens to The Money Pit on WYLL. What’s going on with your furnace?
DOROTHY: Oh, we were trying to figure out – Tom had said that (inaudible) talked about the importance of changing your filter every month. When we take the filter out, it doesn’t seem – it doesn’t show that it’s screening out anything.
TOM: So it’s not dirty at all?
DOROTHY: No, it doesn’t appear to be.
TOM: Well, it may not be installed properly. Are you using the right size filter, Dorothy?
DOROTHY: Yes, I believe so. My husband takes care of that.
TOM: Well, the other thing to check is to make sure you put it in with the proper direction. If you’re using one of those paper fiberglass filters – those cardboard-framed fiberglass filters – which, by the way, are not the best kind of filter to use but it is the least expensive – there’s an arrow on it that indicates airflow. And if you put it in backwards, it may not be doing the job that it’s supposed to do. You need to know that the air is going to come from the duct, usually into the bottom of the furnace, if that’s where it’s mounted – near the furnace. And make sure that the arrow on the filter points inwards.
DOROTHY: OK. Now, would price make a difference in the quality of the filter?
LESLIE: Oh, of course.
TOM: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, sure. I mean, you know, if you’re going to buy an inexpensive one – the one’s that’ll cost a dollar or two – they don’t do as good a job as having, for example, an electronic air cleaner. Aprilaire makes a really good one called the Model 5000 that was ranked tops by Consumer Reports for the last two or three years I remember. And I think that even takes out virus size particles. So you can get, you know, ones that basically heave the pebbles out and ones that’ll be so efficient that you can’t get any virus particles through it.
LESLIE: Microscopic particles.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: And then that, of course, in turn makes all of your machinery – the furnace, your air conditioning – all of that run more efficiently.
TOM: Yeah, especially if you have any respiratory issues; if you have any allergies or any of that sort of thing, I would invest in a better air cleaning. We put one of those Aprilaire Model 5000s in our house and we have it just in the air conditioning system because we have a hot water heating system. But we turn that on even in the winter to let the air sort of run through the duct system because it does such a good job of scrubbing the air. So if you change your filters regularly or if you improve the quality of the filter, Dorothy, I think you’ll find that the house will stay cleaner and it’ll be a lot easier to breathe.
Dorothy, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.