Longer-last­ing air fil­ters not ad­vis­able

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

qual­ity and fur­nace per­for­mance, it is also im­por­tant for a less ob­vi­ous rea­son. With­out this sim­ple main­te­nance chore, most home­own­ers would never think to look at their fur­nace, which is of­ten hid­den in a sep­a­rate room in the base­ment. Es­pe­cially with newer high-ef­fi­ciency, sealed com­bus­tion furnaces, we nor­mally only see the out­side of a metal box. With­out the regular fil­ter changes, how would we know if the fur­nace had a prob­lem, un­til it shut down? There are nu­mer­ous things that can break down or go wrong with a typ­i­cal nat­u­ral gas fur­nace, and some would be no­tice­able with a quick vis­ual in­spec­tion, even by an un­so­phis­ti­cated home­owner. Th­ese would in­clude nat­u­ral gas odours, wa­ter leaks from con­den­sate drains, ex­ces­sive rust on duct­ing or cab­i­nets, frost on the plenum where the A/C coil is in­stalled or ex­ces­sively noisy op­er­a­tion. The other pos­si­ble rea­son I can see to use an ex­pen­sive air fil­ter that only re­quires yearly re­place­ment is to en­sure HVAC con­trac­tors have an ex­cuse to visit the home once a year. While this can be a def­i­nite ben­e­fit in prop­erly main­tain­ing the fur­nace, it also adds a nice ad­di­tional rev­enue source for the con­trac­tor. They not only get ap­pro­pri­ately paid for the an­nual fur­nace ser­vice, but ex­tra for the over­priced fil­ter. Many com­po­nents of home sys­tems de­signed for lower main­te­nance are a good idea and ben­e­fi­cial for sev­eral rea­sons, but larger fur­nace air fil­ters are not in that cat­e­gory. The only ad­van­tages th­ese have over stan­dard fil­ters is they en­sure the home­own­ers calls the orig­i­nal in­staller for pricey re­place­ment and fur­nace ser­vice.

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