While home maintenance is not every one’s idea of a good time, it is essential, especially when it comes to your heating system. Changing the filter in your furnace is a job that needs doing every three to six months, to ensure the furnace runs efficiently and economically all through a cold Canadian winter. A filter will also trap dirt and allergens, making the air in your home cleaner. Luckily, it’s not a big or complicated job. It’s one you can easily do yourself. The filter needs to be checked regularly. Basically, once you have turned off the furnace, you remove the external rack or panel door. Slide the filter out of the furnace and check it for darkness or discoloration. If you can’t see through it, it’s time for a new one. Slide the new filter into the furnace, ensuring it’s installed in the direction of the airflow and replace the cover. If you don’t change your furnace filter regularly, you run the risk of a lack of airflow, which could cause the furnace to overheat and shut down. The filter is intended to protect the blower motor from dust and dirt, at the same time it is trapping bacteria, pollen, mildew and mold spores, enhancing the quality of the air you breathe. If you have pets, people who smoke in the house, or excessive dust build up, you may want to check and change your filter more regularly. Keeping your furnace in perfect running order will keep your utility bills in check, as well as extend the life of your furnace.