You’ve heard that changing the filter helps keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently. But you may be left questioning, “How often should I change my furnace filter? And BTW, how exactly do I do it, anyway?”
Never fear – here are the answers you need.
1. How Often Should I Change My Furnace Filter?
Change Your Filter At Least Every 90 Days
The air filter plays a vital role in protecting your furnace’s delicate components. As the filter fills with dirt, dust, and hair, it gradually begins blocking the flow of air to your furnace. Insufficient airflow causes the furnace heat exchanger to overheat, possibly resulting in your furnace shutting on and off, your furnace blowing cold air or even worse – breakdown. Not a pleasant experience in below-freezing weather! Plus, furnace repair can be pricey. Last but not least, proper care helps extend your furnace’s lifespan.
That’s the “why” of changing your air filter. The answer to “how often?” varies, depending on conditions in your home (see below). A simple way to tell when you need to change the filter is simply to check it regularly.
Check Your Filter Once A Month
Every 30 days, inspect your furnace filter to see whether it is too clogged to allow for proper airflow. If you see a buildup of dust and debris, and the filter’s turned from white to greyish colour, you’ll know that it’s time to change the filter.
By the way, when people talk about changing the furnace filter, they’re referring only to disposables – inexpensive, single-use filters. While these are very convenient, you might prefer a permanent furnace filter. Made of long-lasting, higher quality material enclosed in a plastic frame, a permanent filter is designed to be cleaned and reused.
2. How Your Home Affects When To Change The Filter
Now let’s explore why answers to “How often should I change my furnace filter?” may vary. Physical conditions in your home, as well as family members’ health requirements, can have quite an impact.
Allergies, Asthma, And Other Breathing Problems
If anyone in your household suffers from breathing difficulties, you’ll want to keep the indoor air extra clean and free of irritating particles. As a result, you must be extra careful about changing the furnace filter as soon as it gets dusty.
Pets are great company, for sure, but unfortunately, they tend to shed fur, fluff, and dander which can clog your filter quite quickly.
Some years it seems that the hot Brampton summers just roll right into icy winters without a break. When that happens, you’ll probably be using your heating and cooling system more than usual. Heavy usage is likely to mean you will need to change your furnace filter more often.
Your furnace filter might happen to become wet – for instance, if you just had a furnace leaking water repaired. Similar to dirt, moisture in the filter will restrict the furnace airflow and reduce performance. So change that filter right away!
How Do I Change Or Clean My Furnace Filter?
- Start by turning off your furnace.
- Remove the existing filter from the return air vent.
- For a disposable filter, discard and replace with a fresh one.
- For a permanent filter, vacuum off the dust. With a moist cloth, wipe off any leftover dirt. Allow to dry before putting back in place.
Take The Best Care Of Your Furnace
Checking and changing your furnace filter is an essential first step. But, there’s more furnace cleaning that needs to be done! Now here’s how to keep your furnace in top shape: turn to Dr. HVAC for regular furnace maintenance and repair, performed by our hardworking, skillful techs.