Furnace Filters

In our MHP, we have a number of POHs that have been filled via Rent to Own.  Often, when a home becomes vacant, our maintenance person finds that the residents did not have any filters in the furnace or if a filter is installed, it is caked over with dust/debris.  This causes problems such as the furnaces not running efficiently and resulting in a couple of hours cleaning of the furnaces between residents, and may have even contributed to some of the furnace failures we have seen recently.   Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get more of the residents to install and routinely change the filters in the furnaces?  Have thought about a letter to the residents explaining the benefits of good filter maintenance, and/or regular inspections of the home and furnances/filters.  Anyone think either of these would help?  Other ideas?  Thanks !!

should you offer this service for free. this would allow you to enter the homes twice a year to keep tabs on things as you will be getting many homes back. in addition, it should help with the life of the furnace. you may sell it as helping on electric bills.


If you own the MH then you own the furnace.  The job of the filter is to protect the furnace, furnace parts, and ducts from dust and dirt accumulation.  A secondary benefit is to the occupants’ indoor air quality.  And filter performance is directly related to cost, the more the filter costs the more dust and dirt will be removed as a percentage, and, generally, the higher the dirt holding capacity.  In ten words or less, a more costly filter will remove a higher percentage of the dirt and hold more of the dirt. 
Probably the best way to handle it is to do the filter changes yourself or have your manager do it.  Yes, there may be some damage done to the equipment due to the filter layering over with dirt.  However, more frequent changes do not mean cleaner air.  As the filter begins to load with dirt its cleaning efficiency actually goes up, that is, it become a better filter.  There is, of course, a whole science behind air filters and air filtration.
BTW, the air cleaner on your car works the same way.  Change it based on the manufacturers recommended mileage and not on what the guy at the 10 minute oil change store says.  He gets a commision, I’m sure, on those sales.
Jim Allen

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I would not put anything better than the cheapest pleated air filter in the furnace.  Most homes have no return air system in them and air flow is a serious concern.  The homes will heat more efficiently with better air flow. The “horse hair” filter the manufacturer of the furnace provides is okay but cheap residential filters are a considerable step up.  Maybe provide filters to the customers on a monthly basis.  Never give them more than one.  They always end up “missing” 

John:I concur with Dean that if you still hold title to these homes, you should be inspecting them 2-4 times per year. Filter changes and smoke detector checks are important, but innocuous ways to see the interior of the unit and get an early read on any potential problems. Pets, cleanliness issues, hoarders, extra roommates – these are all things you’d want to know about before they become bigger problems. Will

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If you simply provide them letter in this regard, they will simply read it and afterwards nobody knows where paper has gone. In this regard one of the best mode is to depute one person permanently, who will visit each house twice in a month and tell them about the maintenance of HVAC by way of its regular cleaning as and when needed. This will surely provides you with best results.

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In such condition it will be better for you to get agreement signed or it may be included in the rent agreement about the maintenance ot the filters. In case filters gets damaged or its condition is beyond to get rectified after cleaning and the occupier of the house at that time on rent should have to pay for it or to get it rectified.

This is one of the best mode to bring awareness among residents about furnace filter. Through this mode it is sure that they will take care on this subject without any fault.

Hi John I want to again share my views on this subject. The best way in such a condition is tell the tenant that he should take proper care of each and every item of the house. And when he vacates the house it is your duty to see whether every thing is in order. As you are talking about furnace filters, the best way to maintain is through regularly cleaning .If it is disposable, dispose it after 3 to 4 months and use new. If you use high efficiency filters it can be maintained through washing between 2 to 3 months. If you maintained these filters well it will give you best results in terms of catching dust and it will also increase it’s life. Good quality filter has the capacity to catch 99.97 percent all dust particles.