6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Change These Filters for Fall

[anvplayer video=”5140130″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Seasons changing not only affects the climate outside, but the climate in your home as well. That includes temperature and the quality of the air you breathe. You can pay a lot to have a professional take care of your systems when things go wrong – but why pay for one of the simplest fixes?

Your furnace and central air, if you have it, work for months at a time, season after season. Don’t wait until you have it serviced – you can install clean filters yourself.

“A dirty filter can release those particles into the air, and can eventually damage your HVAC system,” Dan Wroclawski from Consumer Reports said.

Locate filters near the units, as well as air returns in the ceiling. The size is printed right on the side, so you can buy the right one and pop it back in.

Your heating system can remove moisture from your home’s air, causing itchy eyes and dry skin.

“A good humidifier goes a long way to keeping you comfortable. But you need to empty the tank daily and clean it regularly to prevent bacteria from developing,” Wroclawski said.

Generally, CR says to drain, rinse and towel-dry the tank daily.

Every week, deep clean the machine with vinegar and water) – scrubbing the well in the base with a toothbrush, and rinsing well. Place a cup each of water and vinegar in the tank and let it sit. Rinse and towel-dry.

Check the owner’s manual for how often to replace the filter or wick.

Air purifiers are meant to filter the air in a single room, not the whole house.

To test air purifiers, CR places them in a controlled chamber, and injects smoke and dust particles into the room. The faster an air purifier can remove the particles, the better.

But an air purifier can’t work at its full capacity unless air is pulled through a clean filter. To be most effective, change this filter according to manufacturer’s instructions, usually every six to twelve months.

Knowing you’re doing the right thing to keep the air in your house clean will help you breathe easier.