The furnace filter has a dirty job to do, which is why it should be changed frequently. Without a clean filter on your system, you could be breathing in more dust and allergens, but even worse your system could fail sooner than expected. A dirty filter restricts airflow and makes your furnace work harder causing components to breakdown. So, how often should you replace your filter? Here are some general guidelines that can help you determine how often is best for you.
Do you have indoor pets?
Having a pet is one of life’s great joys, but it also brings one of life’s great nuisances, extra dust and hair around the house. Besides having to clean your floors frequently while having a pet indoors, you also want to change or clean your filter frequently, as dirt and dust can accumulate quickly causing restricted airflow and poor indoor air quality. If you choose to have indoor pets, as many of us do, the recommendation is to change your air filter every 2 months. If you have multiple pets, and a home with people who have respiratory conditions, you may want to take a look at replacing your filter every 30 days.
Is your home dusty?
Depending on where you live, certain environments have the unfortunate aspect of extra dust accumulation. If you have to clean dust more frequently from your surfaces, your air filter will also be cleaning more dust from the air in your home. Depending on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating of your filter, you may need to replace it more frequently. A thinner and less effective air filter would need a change every month, whereas a thicker filter could go up to 3 months before being changed.
Do you keep your system fan set to ON?
Leaving your fan on is a lot of people’s preference, but with increased air flow comes increased particles in your air filter. If you choose to keep the air moving in your home by keeping the fan running, be sure to change a less dense filter every month and a thicker filter every 2-3 months.
Does someone in the home smoke?
Smoking indoors causes detrimental damage to any air filter, regardless of its MERV rating. If you have a high-efficiency filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher, you should change the filter every 2 months. Any filter with less of a MERV rating or density, the sooner you have to change it.
Do you enjoy keeping your windows open?
Fresh air comes with a lot of not-so-fresh particles. Keeping windows and doors open is a nice way to keep your home breezy and cool, but it also allows more dust and debris to be collected in your systems filter. Depending on the style of filter you have, you may want to change it every month (for less dense filters), or every 3 months for a higher density filter.
Ultimately, when it comes to changing your filter, a lot depends on your homes lifestyle, but also the style of filter your have in your system. HAMCO Heating & Cooling Ltd. specializes in indoor air quality, so call us today to take a look at your filter, we can replace it or recommend a more efficient one for future use!