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How Often Do You Need to Change Your Furnace Filter?

November 28, 2022

You love a clean home. You pride yourself on never having dust lying around while making sure the air always feels clean. 

But suddenly, dust is piling up. You can’t keep up with it.

Why is this happening?

The culprit may just be your HVAC filter not being able to stay up with the correct furnace efficiency. That means your furnace filter may need to be replaced.

So how often should you actually change your furnace filter? We’ll walk you through when you should change it and what happens if you don’t! Read on to learn more.

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

When it comes to your furnace filter, you should replace your filter about every 3 months or 90 days. While this is the general consensus based on what HVAC professionals recommend, there are a few factors that go into how often you should actually change it.

In terms of knowing when to change it, you can easily take a look at it to determine if it is time to change it. If it looks dirty and is covered by dust or dirt, it is time to get a new one!

Here are a few factors that you need to look out for.

Thickness of the HVAC Filter

One of those factors is the filter’s thickness. If your filter is thicker, it has more surface area to collect dirt and dust. This means that you don’t have to change it as often.

For instance, if your filter is less than 2 inches thick, you can change your furnace filter every 30 days to 90 days, depending on your home environment. 

Three to four-inch filters can go longer – up to 6 to 9 months before switching them out.

Home Environment 

Your home environment is another thing that you have to pay attention to. If you have a bigger house, you need to change the filter more often because there are larger volumes of air circulating around. If you have a smaller house, you will not need to replace it as often. 

The same goes for having pets. If you have pets, you are more likely to have allergens moving about the home, from pet fur and dander. This can easily clog up the furnace filter, which means that you will have to change it more often.

If you are in this scenario, you will want to change it every 2 months. If you have more than one pet, consider changing it every six weeks.

In addition to pets, if you have kids and entertain guests often, you will also want to change it more often. Kids can bring in dirt from playing and germs from school. Guests coming in and out are also bringing in outside allergens. 

On top of these factors, you will want to change it more often if you have someone in the home that is affected by allergies – like asthma or another health issue.

What Happens If I Wait Longer Than That?

So now that you know how often to change your filter, life can get busy. When it does, what will happen if you wait longer than the recommended amount of time to change the furnace filter?

While it may not be extremely dangerous to you to wait longer, it can harm your own health (especially your respiratory health). The dirt will no longer be caught in the filter, but may be pushed back into the air that you are breathing.

It will also harm the filter furnace if you wait too long, too.

What’s this mean? It could be anything from a specific broken part to an entire furnace failure. That’s because when you leave the dirt on the filter, it is working harder to pump air through the home which in turn will leave it with a reduced lifespan.

It will also leave you with higher energy bills as well.

Signs You Need a Filter Replacement 

So now that you know how often to replace your furnace filter, what are the signs that can help you determine you need to replace it without looking at it?

Here are a few things to watch out for.

Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bills are getting higher and higher each month, something is wrong. And it may be your furnace filter not working properly! This would be a sign that you should inspect the unit (even if it has only been a month or two!).

You’ve Been Getting Sicker

If you have been getting sick more often than usual, you may need to replace your furnace filter. You could be getting sick due to the extra dirt and particles flowing around your house.

Your Home Seems Dustier 

If you like your home clean, you’ll likely notice when it isn’t clean. And this may happen more often if your furnace filter is not working properly. When it doesn’t do its job, your home will start collecting more dust as it is not circulating through the filter and getting trapped.

Replacing Your Furnace Filter

Now that you have read through this blog, you may realize that you need to schedule maintenance to your furnace filter. You now realize that waiting a year to replace the filter is a bit too long! 

If you need professional help, you can contact us at Anton’s! With over 40 years in business, we know how to help! We are ready to help you service your HVAC system and furnace.

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