How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

“How often should you change your furnace filter?”  It’s a question many Ajax, Oshawa, and Pickering homeowners (plus, those in Whitby, Bowmanville and Port Perry too) ask the team at Advantage Airtech ClimateCare.

Here’s the short answer:

Your furnace filter should be inspected monthly and changed every 3 to 6 months (depending on how dirty they are).

If you happen to live in a particularly dusty home, smoke/have family members who smoke, or have pets, you’ll want to change your filter every other month.

Otherwise, pollutants will be released into the air and your furnace won’t run as efficiently as it should.

Between day-to-day life, work, kids, and other family responsibilities, it can be easy to forget about changing your furnace filter.

Yet, there are risks you – and your home – will experience if you go too long without removing a dirty filter and putting a clean one in its place.

Do you know how often to change your furnace filter?Risk 1: Poorer indoor air quality

If you aren’t quite sure how often to change your furnace filter, here’s something to remember:

  • Essentially, your furnace’s job is to create warm air and deliver it throughout your home.

So when a dirty air filter is left in too long, the indoor air quality in your home suffers.

Your furnace filter is designed to attract and trap harmful particles such as:

  • Pet hair
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Airborne bacteria

Eventually, the filter will just run out of room to collect these contaminants. When that happens, your air filtration system will spread them throughout your home.

If all of a sudden you find the air in your home heavy to breathe, stale or doesn’t seem as clean as it should be, there’s a good chance you need to replace the furnace filter.

How often should you change your furnace filter?Risk 2: Your home will become much dirtier

As mentioned earlier in this blog, a furnace filter that’s too clogged will recirculate nasty particles throughout your home.

In addition to compromising indoor air quality, your home will get dirtier quicker (and require more frequent and thorough cleaning).

Are you:

  • Dusting your home more often than usual?
  • Finding bigger dust bunnies in more places?
  • Washing your floors all the time?
  • Noticing how much dirtier your windows have become?
  • Seeing your furniture become stained or discoloured?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you should probably have a professional come out and replace your furnace filter.

Otherwise, you’ll spend more time (and money) cleaning your home than you would living in it.

Furnace fanRisk 3: Damaging your furnace

When it comes to how often you should change your furnace filter, take a look at the season in which your furnace is going to be at its busiest.

Winter, of course.

And a dirty filter will cause your home heating system to work harder than it should during the cold months.

Your furnace is powered by a fan and motor unit which pushes air through the filter and into your home. When the filter is clogged, the fan and motor has to expend more energy to do its job.

That can result in things like:

  • Overheating the fan and motor
  • Breaking the unit completely
  • Having to spend more on your monthly energy bills

Individually, things like pollen, soot, and dander don’t seem like much.

Combine them and stick them on your furnace filter, though, and you’re asking for trouble.

HEPA FilterShould you consider a HEPA filter?

A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is different from a conventional furnace filter because it has to meet certain industry guidelines:

  • Must filter 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter (human hair is 70 microns)
  • Utilize a three-stage filtration process (Interception, Impaction, Diffusion)

Due to this unique filtration process, HEPA filters are more powerful and effective than their traditional counterparts.

Other benefits include:

  • More efficient delivery of air throughout your home
  • Certain HEPA filters can last up to 2 years (although they should still be inspected regularly)
  • High MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating between 17-20

Finally, if you want to know just how trusted HEPA filters are, consider the fact that many hospitals use them for their indoor air quality systems.

How often should you change your furnace filter? Why not let us do it for you?

Changing your furnace filter on a regular basis is an easy, efficient way to keep your unit in peak working condition.

However, it may not be something busy homeowners like you think about.

On the other hand, it’s pretty much all we think about.

That’s why a WeCare Maintenance/Protection Plan for your furnace will clean and replace your furnace filter on a regular basis.

So when Old Man Winter is doing his worst, your furnace is doing its best.

Need more information on how often you should change your furnace filter?

Contact us