There’s no hard and fast rule for how often to change furnace filters. Ask yourself these 4 questions to determine if it’s time to change your HVAC air filters.
Knowing when to change the filter to your heating and air system in your home is important. We have many customers ask us when should they change the air filter, and our answer is, “it depends.”
Several factors determine when your filters need to be changed, but the main rule of thumb is if it looks dirty, change it! You shouldn’t wait until the filter is completely filthy though, because that means your heating and cooling system is not running at its full potential.
Here are some keys that’ll help you determine when you should change the filter in your home.
What kind of furnace filter do you have?
One of the primary influences of how often you need to change the filter in your home is what type of filter you buy.
Filters vary from each other in several ways, based on what materials they’re made with, their form (pleated vs. panel), their thickness, and other variations.
We know everyone loves to save money, but buying a cheap air filter most likely means you’re going to have to replace it more often, which in the long run will probably be cost the same as buying a better quality filter.
When you purchase a filter, it should have a recommended time when it’ll need to be replaced. Some need to be changed monthly, while others can last up to six months.
Do you have allergies?
Another main factor in how often you should change the filter is the occupants in the home.
If you have anyone who suffers from allergies, you should be changing the filters more often than recommended. This will help remove more of the allergens from the air in your home. If the filter is full and dirty, it won’t be able to trap them.
Are there pets in your house?
Another occupant to consider when deciding how soon filters need to be changed is any furry critters roaming in your home.
The majority of cats and dogs shed, and their hair gets everywhere. That includes your filters, which will alter the performance of your heating and cooling system.
So if you have a pet or multiple pets in your home, you’ll most likely need to change the filter more often. The best way to know how often is to check it.
Also, depending on the seasons, you may need to change the filter at different intervals. Animals shed more in hotter months, so keep that in mind when it comes to checking your filters.
Do you care about saving money?
If you don’t think that changing your filter is important, here are a few reasons why you should change the filter to your HVAC system.
The U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 10 percent.
Not only will it save you money on your energy bills, but it also can save you money on your heating and cooling system. A dirty filter will restrict your air flow, causing your system to work harder. This will cause wear and can create issues that possibly require repairs. Also continuous wear on your system will lower the lifespan of your system.
So do yourself and your heating and air system a favor, don’t forget to change the filters! Many HVAC companies will offer a filter service, providing quality filters as well as installation services for those hard to reach filters. So contact your local heating and cooling company for additional filter services.