Where is my Furnace?
Given the fact that the vast majority of homes in and around the Ottawa area are relatively new, most homes will come equipped with condensing furnaces which are found in the basement. The furnace should resemble what is depicted in the photo to the right. If you cannot find your furnace, consult with your landlord, builder or city.
How Often Should I Change my Filter?
Although each house varies in terms of traffic, allergy sensitivities and living situations, it is advised that you change your furnace filter every 3 months (4 times a year). This provides enough time for you to have gotten good use out of the filter without your home’s air quality suffering.
Note: If you have respiratory conditions or issues with air quality you should consult with medical professionals for recommendations.
How do I Know What Filter I Need?
So where exactly you ask is the filter? The filter is located in the air cleaning section of the furnace. This is found relatively close to the ground on the side of the furnace where there is a large duct coming into the large central unit. There should be a slot in the duct where a filter (white frame) can be placed.
If your filter is not located there, look for diagrams or instructions on your home’s unit.
Before buying a filter, the right type and size must be determined. The best way to establish this is by examining the filter that is currently in the unit. The size should be depicted on one of the sides of the filter. Sizes are based on three measurements, the last of which is the width. The majority of standard filters are 1” wide, however 2, 4, and 6’ are also easy to find. An example of a standard size of a filter is:
Where do I buy a Filter?
Filters can be purchased easily at any hardware or home store. Other large scale retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart also carry air filters for sale in their Home and Household Products sections. Filters may be purchased or individually in packs and are usually about $10 each.
Changing the Filter
Changing the filter is a simple and quick process. The most important thing is determining the correct direction to place the filter into the furnace to ensure proper function. The filter should have airflow arrows on it. These arrows should point towards the furnace from the vent.
Disposing of the Old Filter
The easiest thing to do with the old filter is place it in the bag that the new filter came out of. Once you do this, the furnace should be thrown in the garbage for pickup.