One of the biggest maintenance issues landlords and homeowners face at their properties is with their heating and cooling systems. With the extreme heat of St. Louis summers and extreme cold of St. Louis winters, our environment can certainly put a strain on these systems. Annual maintenance by your HVAC technician is always a good idea, but there is one simple thing you can, and should, be doing ever month: cleaning the filter in your furnace.
This maintenance is so quick and simple that there is no reason not to do it every month. But for some reason, it seems like many property owners can’t find five minutes in their schedule to take care of this each month. It is easy to fall into the trap of simply being reactionary to maintenance issues and only pay attention to your HVAC system when it is giving you troubles, but changing filters is more than just a ploy by the air filter lobby to sell more units. Consider your clothes dryer. If you neglect to clean out the lint collector you can very quickly notice a drop in efficiency. Obviously, lint from the dryer collects faster than with your furnace, but you get the idea.
In general, you should check out the filter in all your furnaces once a month. Depending on the season and other factors, the amount of dust collected in any given month will vary. In general, the dead of winter and summer will be the worst times. Sometimes you can get away with simply vacuuming the dust from the existing filter, other times you need to replace it. Either way, you should check it out each month to be sure.
If you are a landlord, cleaning the furnace filters at your properties has a beneficial side-effect as well. It gives you a good excuse to check up on your tenants and how they are treating your unit. Keeping up on routine maintenance will make good tenants feel better knowing that you actually care about running a good building, as well as let you spot trouble tenants. Get those vacuums ready.