When Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

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When Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Furnace Filter Maintenance in Kennewick, WA

Your furnace filter keeps dust, dander and hair from reaching your circulated air supply and interfering with the inner workings of your HVAC system. It can be difficult to determine the best intervals for changing out your filter through the course of the year. Consider these essential tips when establishing your filter replacement routine.

What Affects Your Filter?

Several factors in your home will affect how often you should change out your filter. Always keep in mind the size of your home and the general air quality of your city. Larger homes need to change out filters faster than smaller homes. Your rate of change will also be accelerated if you live in a high pollution area or one with excessive pollen.

You should also consider how many pets you have in the home and the thickness of your chosen filter. Pet hair and dander can quickly fill up furnace filters over several weeks. Thinner, flat filters will need to be switched out more regularly than thicker, pleated ones that have a higher surface area. Determine your own best schedule based on your household needs and allergy issues rather than relying on an automatic recommendation or the estimated lifespan of the filter.

Filter Size

The type and size of your filter play a huge role in how often it needs to be replaced. Filters that are two inches or less can often be switched out every 30 to 90 days. These are the thinnest filters available and often don’t have a lot of surface area to catch dust and dander. Filters between three and four inches can be changed every six to nine months. Five-inch and six-inch filters can be changed about once a year.

The filter size determines its average lifespan in your home. While these recommendations may work for homes that don’t have many sensitivities or pets, if you do have to consider those factors, you’ll likely need to switch your filters out earlier. Putting off changing a filter can result in significant issues in the home, including provoking allergies and generating higher bills.

Number of Pets

Pet hair and dander can quickly fill up a filter and shorten its lifespan. Thicker filters are best with pets if you want to minimize replacements and maintain high air quality. Owning one pet can take a full month off your filter’s lifespan, and this effect multiplies with the more animals you have. Thinner filters between one to two inches will likely need to be changed once a month if you have more than two animals.

Thicker filters will last longer, letting you worry less about the air quality in your home. To find the ideal replacement routine for your residence, contact a professional technician who can go through your best options.

Allergy Sensitivities

A filter slowly accumulates dust, contaminants and particulates over time. The longer a filter is in place, the less effective it becomes. If you have moderate to extreme allergies or sensitivities, you may need to switch out your filter more regularly. A high air quality keeps everyone in your home safe, from your infants to your elderly loved ones.

When to Change

When you forget to replace your filter, you may notice a range of signs with your furnace and your air quality. You’ll see more dust in the home covering surfaces and on vents. Your airflow may fluctuate due to clogs and particulates stuck in the system. Your energy bills can spike as your HVAC works overtime to pump out the conditioned air. You and your loved ones may also begin to experience discomfort, sneezing, watery eyes and trouble breathing.

Simply glancing at the coating on your filter may not be a reliable indicator. There might even be larger pieces of debris stuck in the pleats. Hold the filter up to the light. You should be able to see light through it. If you can’t, it’s time for a replacement. Regularly changing your filter keeps your furnace functioning efficiently and your home safe. Determining your best replacement schedule can take some experimentation, but it is an essential process if you wish to maximize your furnace’s lifespan and keep family members healthy.

Trustworthy Heating and Cooling Company

Trust Bruce Mechanical Heating & Air in Kennewick, WA, Hermiston, OR and Littleton, CO for expert service in all those vicinities. We offer exceptional installation, maintenance and repairs for your air conditioner, furnace and heat pump. We pride ourselves on our specialized customer service that puts your needs first. We’re here to make sure your home and business are always comfortable and safe. Rely on us to clean and seal your ducts, service your fireplace and check your indoor air quality. Call us today for premium services at reasonable rates.