Replacing Your Furnace Filter: Understanding the Basics

While homeowners frequently overlook them, furnace filters are essential components of any furnace system. The major functions of filters are improving air quality and helping your unit function optimally. We recommend changing your filter regularly to foster a comfortable and healthy home for your family. However, we find that numerous homeowners forget to replace their filters for several months, resulting in increased bills and possible maintenance issues. This guide offers insight into the filters in your system and the importance of correct and prompt replacement.

What a Furnace Filter Does

The role of a furnace filter is removing contaminants from indoor air and maintaining proper airflow through your cooling and heating system. The removal of contaminants supports cleaner indoor air and HVAC components. Additionally, the filter prevents debris and dirt accumulation from influencing the performance of the HVAC system. If debris and dirt accumulate in your air handler or furnace heating system because of a dirty filter, your unit could sustain damage and use more energy, resulting in increased utility costs and the need for repair.

When to Change a Furnace Filter

Wood Burning, Gas, or Electric Fireplace? Which is the Right Fit?We recommend you replace the filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. In most instances, replacement should occur every three months. Nevertheless, it's prudent to examine the filter monthly to establish whether it might require a replacement sooner than the manufacturer's recommendations.

If you find the filter's surface is gray with buildup, you should change it. Other indications that a replacement might be necessary include increased dust in your home or longer cooling and heating cycles.

Other Factors that Determine When to Replace Your Filter

The Type of Furnace

One of the major influences on how frequently you should replace your filter is the kind of filter your furnace has. Filters vary from each other in numerous ways, depending on the materials they contain, their form, thickness, and other differences. While we know everybody likes saving money; we want to caution you that purchasing a cheap filter most likely means you'll need to replace it more frequently. Take a look at the filter when you buy it. All filters must have the recommended period for replacement listed on the packaging. Some need a monthly replacement while others could last up to six months.

Allergies

Your home's occupants also determine the frequency of filter replacement. If anyone has allergies in your home, you should change the filters more often than recommended to eliminate more of the allergens from your home's air. If your filter is dirty and full, it can’t trap these pollutants.

Pets

Pets also determine how soon your filters need replacement. Most dogs and cats shed, leaving their hair everywhere, and this hair gets trapped in the filters which affect the performance of your cooling and heating system. Therefore, if you own a pet or numerous animals, you should probably replace the filter more frequently. Additionally, you might need to replace the filter at various intervals based on the seasons. Animals typically shed more during hotter months, so bear this in mind when examining your filters.

The Importance of Filter Replacement

Dirty Filters Affect Your Health

A dirty filter permits dander, dust, and mold to circulate throughout your home making your family vulnerable to inhaling these contaminants. This can worsen allergies, asthma, and other respiratory concerns. On the other hand, a clean filter traps these pollutants, stopping them from bothering your family.

Clogged Filters Result in Inefficiency

Filter replacement helps your furnace operate as effectively as possible. When dirt, dust, and grime block your filter, your AC and furnace must work twice as hard to move air throughout your home. This increases your energy costs and carbon footprint while draining your budget. Filter replacement is fast, effective, and easy.

Dirty Filters Decrease Your System's Lifespan

When your system works harder to cool and heat your home, the outcome isn't just increased costs. It can also cause the system to overheat and consequently burn out. The strain put on the blower and the HVAC unit could result in the system's premature failure. We find that a blocked filter is one of the most common reasons people contact us with a failed system. The last thing you want is to pay for a replacement before the due date when a simple swap of the filter will fix the issue. Neglecting your filter is too costly of an error to make, so be proactive. If you haven't considered filter replacement in a while, perhaps it's time you did. Replace your filter today for an efficient and clean system.  
3 years ago
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