This is a subject we’ve touched upon multiple times in this blog. That subject being the regular replacement of the air filters in your home. Your Austin heating and air conditioning systems rely upon this small little piece of cardboard and pleated filtering material, perhaps to a greater extent than is immediately obvious. Such a simple looking rectangular of relatively cheap material can’t have that big of a difference in your experience with the air in your home and the state of your furnace and air conditioner can it? It can, actually, and does.
That’s why it’s so important to remember to change your air filter on a regular schedule. The exact schedule is going to depend on the type of filter you have, as they vary, but the important thing is just remembering to check it and replace it on a regular basis. But the air filter in your house is tucked away, out of sight, and generally out of mind. That can make remembering to replace it month after month a bit of a struggle for most people. That’s why this tip of the day will be dedicated to laying out several easy tips and methods for reminding yourself to check and replace your HVAC air filter for the sake of quality heating and air conditioning in Austin.
Method #1: Set a Digital Alarm
Today we have so many options for enhancing our memories with technology. And by enhancing our memories I mean making use of technology in order to remember things for us. Whether that’s in the form of little note applications on your phone that allow you to jot quick reminders about what you need to pick up from the grocery store for dinner or setting a reminder that will alert you two hours before you dentist appointment that you do in fact have a dentist appointment.
Use this capability to your advantage and utilize it to help you remember to change or at least check your air filter. Today it is possible to schedule an email for a particular time or use your phone to set alarms. What you will hear as far as suggestions of how often to change your air filters will vary but at the very least you should be changing them four times a year to keep your Austin air conditioning and heating system running smoothly. Use your phone to schedule these four events now and you won't have to worry for the next year because your phone will remind you when the task is due. As an alternative, you can schedule emails to arrive in your inbox on those days. If social media is your weapon of choice, you can also schedule "tweets" and Facebook posts. It’s really up to you. There are many methods of setting digital alarm reminders. So choose the one that works best for you and fits your lifestyle and habits.
Method #2: Leave Visual Cues
This method works well for those who already are in the habit of looking after their HVAC system but often have trouble remembering details about how often to change the air filter or just want to take the guessing game out of when they're due for a change. There’s a difference between checking your air filters and replacing them. You may check your air filter one day but not remember how long ago it was when you last replaced it or even last checked it, and you can’t definitively decide whether it looks like it’s due for a change or not.
That’s where this method comes in handy. The cardboard edge of the filter is a perfect surface for writing. If you’re a visual person, take a dark marker and write the date the filter needs to be changed directly on the cardboard. You’ll be able to see it every time you pass by or check the filter.
You could also hide a sticky note on or near your thermostat reminding you of important tasks to be done such as scheduling maintenance tasks, clearing the area around your outside unit, and of course, replacing your air filters. This method works well particularly because the thermostat is the one aspect of your entire HVAC system that you’re going to have direct contact and interaction with on a likely daily basis. So leaving a visual reminder right in its vicinity ensures that it will be something that catches your eye very regularly.
Method #3: Advanced Thermostat
Speaking of thermostats, did you know that some thermostats on today’s market have an advanced array of features that can include things like automatically letting you know when to change your air filters?
It’s true. I’m referring to some types of Wi-Fi thermostats. These are advanced thermostats that connect to a specialized app in your phone and as such open up a whole new range of possibilities. Wi-Fi programmable thermostats offer a number of comfort-enhancing, money-saving benefits. In addition to letting you program automatic setback periods and control the temperature from anywhere using a smartphone, Wi-Fi thermostats also offer automatic reminders and alerts.
For example, if something is malfunctioning, you may receive a text or email alert suggesting you hire a technician to perform maintenance. It can also detect when the filter is starting to restrict airflow. A “change filter” light indicates the most cost-effective time to replace the filter, removing the guesswork from the task. This is the most high-tech and specialized method for being alerting exactly when it’s time to replace your filter. Let the thermostat itself do the work of remembering this regular yet forgettable task for you.
Method #4: Use Memorable Days
Some people don’t like or aren’t in the habit or organizing their life with little alerts and artificial reminders. And that’s fine. For people like that, perhaps this method of remembering to change your air filter will be more appealing. It involves associating the act of changing your air filter with memorable or important days that occur regularly in the year.
If you don’t like to have reminders, or perhaps find yourself forgetting to even set the reminders, hope is not lost. Try scheduling filter changes to coincide with something you will remember, or putting it on the same day as other routine maintenance tasks. If family birthdays fall approximately three months apart, you could make changing your air filters part of those days. That isn't always the case, but scheduling the change for certain holidays can work well, too. For example, New Year's Day, Easter, Independence Day and Halloween fall approximately three months apart. Making a habit of changing the filters on those days would give you the clean filters you need and make it easier to remember that they need to be changed. Another great alternative is to schedule the air filters to be changed on the first days of spring, summer, winter and autumn. Those dates are fairly consistent and run exactly three months apart.
There are other possible examples. Three months is about as often as cars need oil changes, so do both on the same day. Drove 3000 miles already? Time to change the furnace filter. Or better yet, line up this task with another one related to your HVAC. If you can link paying your monthly utility bill with changing the filter, you’ll never forget to do one without also completing the other. Since heating and cooling bills are directly tied to the HVAC filter, these are the perfect chores to pair up. This is a great one if you find your air filters are best when changed or at least checked once a month for example in large houses that move a lot of air.
How to Change Your Air Filter
So far we’ve talked a lot about how to remind yourself to change your air filter. But perhaps you need a reminder of how that is even done in the first place. No article about air filters would be complete without a quick rundown on this simple process so you need a little refresher then read on.
First, why do we change our air filters again? We all know that fresh clean air is important to our health. We should also know that our home air filters need to be kept clean not only for our health but also to protect the air conditioning and heating equipment. A dirty (or worse, no filter at all) filter can cause our heating and air conditioning equipment to fail. By maintaining a good filter maintenance schedule we protect our health and the heating and cooling equipment.
Actually changing the filter is a fairly easy task. Again, consult your manual for proper procedure, but typically the process is as follows: turn off the furnace; locate the service panel and remove it; slide out the existing filter (located near the blower fan); slide in a new filter and turn the furnace back on.
Air Filter Replacement and Heating Repair in Austin
Air filters, our heating and air conditioning in Austin quite literally wouldn’t be the same without them. They filter out the bad stuff so we just breathe the good stuff. And that’s all well and good, but It can only happen with a little effort on our part. But remembering stuff isn’t always so easy in our modern hectic day-by-day lives. That’s why you can try employing one or two of the methods above to help you remember this simple but deviously forgettable task that is so paramount to your air quality and the health of your furnace and air conditioner.
And don’t forget that if you ever need heater repair in Austin AC Express has you covered. AC Express is an Austin AC repair and heater repair company that operates all throughout the Austin area, from Hutto and Manor to Pflugerville and Round Rock. Next time you need a heating service in Austin, don’t hesitate. Call today!