In this round of “Ask the Expert”, Shane Moore, Project Manager at Habitat Kent gives tips for simple home maintenance to make sure your home is ready for the colder months ahead.
Q: As we head into Fall, what are some things people can do themselves to get their homes ready?
Shane: Summer and winter are great times to check your furnace filter. Filters should be checked every six months and replaced at least once per year unless it’s needed sooner.
Q: Why is it important to change furnace filters?
Shane: Changing filters is really important for a couple of reasons. One, it will help your indoor air quality. It can also help your furnace run more efficiently. If a filter gets too dirty, it can cause the furnace to shut down or possibly seriously damage your furnace.
Q: What kind of filter is needed?
Shane: For most Habitat Kent houses built after 2007, the furnace filter is sized 20x25x5 and rated MERV 10. They can be found at either Habitat Kent ReStore location or your local home improvement/hardware store. These filters typically cost $35 each.
If your Habitat house was built before 2007 or for any other home, make sure to check your filter size before purchasing a new one.
Q: While we’re on the subject of filters, is there anything else homeowners should know?
Shane: Yes! Don’t forget to check your ERV (energy recovery ventilator) filters every three months to wash them, and replace them a minimum of once per year. Most Habitat houses built after 2007 have an ERV, as do a few built before 2007. The ERV helps ventilate your air-tight home for energy efficiency and comfort. When checking the filters, be sure to also vacuum out the inside of the box.
Q: How do homeowners find what type of filter they need?
Shane: Most Habitat houses utilize two 10-1/2”x10-1/2”x1” EV130 filters. However, some houses will need two 9-5/8”x10-1/2”x1” EV90 filters. Check your ERV model number and filter size before purchasing. These can also be found at our ReStores or can be purchased on Amazon for $25 per 10-pack.
Q: Any last tips for the Fall?
Shane: With all of the falling leaves, sometimes they end up in your gutters. This can cause a clog. Don’t forget to clean them out. Blocked gutters can hold water and can be a home for insects, pests, and mold. Gutters help direct water away from your house reducing the risk of water damage.