“When Should I Replace My Furnace Filter?”

This has to be one of the most asked questions amongst homeowners. Furnace filters are designed to protect both your home and your furnace in many ways…

Why Do I Need To Change My Furnace Filter?

Changing Furnace Filters Improves Air Quality

Firstly, it’s important to understand what your furnace filter does. It helps to maintain your homes air quality and remove allergens and air pollutants. These small bits of dirt and particles can affect worsen your allergies, congestion and increase other health problems such as asthma. Changing your filters often can help reduce these issues.

Changing Your Furnace Filter Reduces Repairs

Going too long without changing your filters can cause harm to your furnace as well. A clogged filter will cause your furnace to work harder to push air throughout your home and can increase the likelihood of a costly furnace repair.

What About The Furnace Filter Recommendations?

When you go to purchase a new furnace filter they will typically have written on them how long they are good for. This can range based on the quality of the filter as well as the size. Usually “30 days” is on the low end, and up to “12 months” on the higher end. Now you have to keep in mind, these are averages or good “rules of thumb” to go on, but there are many factors that can actually increase how often you should change them more frequently than the recommended time frames.

What Factors Impact How Often I Should Change My Air Filter?

The best approach is to understand the best time to change your filters. Below is a list of the many factors that can determine the time frame in which your furnace filter should be replaced.

Below is a list of factors that can affect when you should replace your furnace filter.

1) Pets & Their Impact On Your Furnace Filter?

We all love our pets but hey nothing is worse than a shedding dog or cat in-between seasons. This dandruff and hair circulates through your home and will eventually cycle back through your furnace filter. If you have large dogs or lots of cats you may notice your furnace filter get dirtier quicker. If you let it go too long you may actually notice some of the hairs around the opening where your filter sits. A good idea would be to give this a vacuum before pulling your filter out, and be sure to have the rest of the area hair-free before your next filter.

2) Construction or Renovations

Home renovations are one of the biggest reasons your filters can get clogged up. If you are doing any renovations in the near future or have even recently completed some it may be a great time to check your filter. Renovations such as drywalling, painting, flooring or anything that can do with cutting wood or increased traffic in and out of your home can contribute to an excess amount of sawdust and particles floating around.

3) Do You Keep Your Windows Open In The Summer Or At Night?

Those hot summer months are a perfect opportunity for some open windows and just the right cross breeze. Right? However, this can cause lots of outdoor air pollutants to make their way into your home. Unfortunately, those screens don’t work the same way a furnace filter would. The best option to avoid these circumstances is to invest in an air conditioner for your home. A new Home AC Unit can alleviate the need to open windows, keep your home air quality clean and most importantly, keep you cool alllll summer long.

4) Location, Location, Location.

The location of your home can make a big difference in how often your furnace filters will need to be changed. If you have a newly built home in a new community you may notice your filter gets dirtier, quicker. All of the outside construction and digging can cause your filters to collect that dust.

Now keep in mind here. If your furnace filter is dirty this is actually a very GOOD thing. It means you are not breathing in these allergens and that your filter is doing its job.

5) Do You Keep Your Heat or A/C Fan On?

Keeping your fan running all the time means your furnace will be circulating air throughout your home 24/7. This means running air through the filter more and of course causing it to collect more particles quicker. This lengthy time for your fans to be on can cause your motor to burn out faster and increase the frequency of repairs. Plus, as the filter becomes filled with dust and dirt particles air will be restricted from flowing freely which causes excess pressure on the motor.

6) Do You Smoke in Your Home?

Smoking inside your home can cause a build-up of particles in your filters as well as your ducts. This can dramatically increase the rate at which your filters should be changed. If you want to help decrease the cost of constant filter replacement, smoking outside will be a great choice.

7) Your Day-To-Day Lifestyle

If you have a busy home with lots of kids and family in and out you are more likely to replace your filter sooner than the recommended time. However, if its vacation home with a little less traffic then there is fewer worries in terms of the frequency of your furnace filter replacement. Only you know your day-to-day lifestyle and will have a good idea of whether it should be changed.

How Can You Remind Yourself to Change Your HVAC Filter?

As we all know, changing a furnace filter is one of the last things we think of in the run of our busy days. An easy way to remember is to simply add a calendar notification on your phone to determine the time you should check your filter or the time you installed a new one.

Different Types OF Furnace Filters

There are a number of different filters available:

Economy Panel – The most inexpensive filters. They only catch the biggest particles and last an average of 30 days.

Pleated – Better than economy filters, these can last up to 90 days, but they should be checked monthly.

Permanent – Some heating systems come with filters that are meant to be washed—not replaced. If you have one of these filters, you should thoroughly wash them at least once every 30 days, according to the manufacturer instructions.

HEPA – These filters can catch even the smallest particles and are good for those that suffer from allergies of breathing problems. Depending on the HEPA filter, it can last between 6 months and 1 year.

It’s important to know what kind of furnace filter you’re using, and how often it needs to be changed.

Still changing Your Filter More Often Than The Recommendations?

If all else fails and your filter still gets excessively dirty it may be time for a duct cleaning service. This helps remove any dirt build up in your ducts and can help reduce the frequency of filter changes. Contact JPS Furnace Today for any Questions and Concerns you may have or if you feel it may be time for a furnace repair or furnace maintenance.