At first, you may not think that it will make much of a difference when you change your furnace filter.
But knowing when to change your furnace filter is actually one of the best things you can do. It will help keep your air quality high and your furnace and AC working at peak performance.
Check Your Furnace Filter Every 30 Days
A general industry standard for checking your furnace’s air filter is to do it every month. If it is needed, clean or replace it.
We recommend that your furnace filter be changed or cleaned at least every 3 months. Depending on your furnace and your home, it may require changing or cleaning on a more frequent basis.
Remember: Your central air conditioner uses the air handler from your furnace to move cool air through your home. This means that you still need to change your filter in the summer.
These Factors Will Impact When You Should Change Your Furnace Filter
While we mentioned that the rule of thumb is to change your furnace filter at least every 3 months, we meant what we said about each home and furnace being unique.
There are some factors that will determine how often you should change your furnace filter.
1. Is Your Filter Always Dirty When You Check It?
Are you changing your filter every three months, and finding it absolutely jam packed with dirt and debris? This is a sign that you may need to change it more often, particularly if you want your furnace and air conditioner to work well.
A clogged filter will cause your furnace to work harder trying to push the air through all the buildup and back into the house. This causes more wear and tear, not to mention reduced efficiency. Simply put, a clogged air filter could increase your operating costs!
If this sounds familiar, we recommend checking your air filter more frequently. The best way to tell that it is time to change it is if you hold it up and can’t see any light through it. Then adjust your furnace filter schedule accordingly.
2. Pets and People Will Kick Up More Dust
One of the reasons your filter may need to be changed more frequently is based on how many two and four-legged friends you have running around.
Pets and people are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to dust and debris. Pets with fur shed, and it gets sucked up into the furnace filter. The more there is, the faster your furnace filter will clog.
People aren’t blameless either. When we move around, we kick up dust, spread hair and skin cells around, and generally leave an almost invisible mess wherever we go. If you’re in a home with a lot of people, you may need to change your furnace filter at more frequent intervals.
3. Do You Have Allergies or Asthma?
While a sparkling fresh air filter is not scientifically proven to help with the air quality in your home, it definitely doesn’t hurt it. After all, the purpose of the air filter is to remove dust and debris from so that it not only protects the furnace from larger particles, but removes them from the air.
A clogged filter will not be able to do its job nearly as well, which means more dust is hanging around. If you have allergies, this could be a bad combination. Cleaning or changing your furnace filter more often could help reduce the chances that your own home will make you sneeze. You also may want to consider investing in a more heavy-duty filter with air cleaning features.
Tip: There could be more factors contributing to your seasonal allergies. We have some advice on how to negotiate allergy season.
4. How Much Do You Use Your System?
This one is simple; the more you run your furnace and air conditioner, the faster your filter will become clogged. If you keep the temperature higher in winter and cooler in summer, your furnace has to work harder.
Chances are with Toronto’s hot summers and freezing winters, your HVAC equipment is running consistently during those seasons. The more it runs, the more dust it’s collecting. The more dust it’s collecting, the more often you should check and, if necessary, change your furnace filter.
Tip: How often you clean will make a difference in how often you have to change your filter. People who dust twice a week as opposed to once a week will have their filters longer!
Now You Know When to Change the Filter, But Do You Know How?
The type of furnace filter you have will determine if you need to replace it with a new one.
First, remember to turn off the furnace for your own safety. Then carefully remove the filter.
Tip: Make sure to note which way the airflow is going so that you reinstall your new or clean furnace filter the right way. Look for an arrow on the frame.
Most people use disposable filters, which makes this process quick and painless. All you have to do is replace it with a new one, making sure that it is the correct size for your furnace model. It really is that simple.
If you have a reusable furnace filter, this is going to take a little more time and effort on your part. On the plus side, a high-quality, well cared for furnace filter will last a long time, saving you money.
Once you remove the reusable filter from the frame, carefully clean it using a vacuum or water. Let it dry completely before reinserting it into the frame and putting it back in your furnace.
Need Help? We’ve Got You Covered
If you’re experiencing a problem, we’re only a phone call away. Whether it’s a problem with your furnace or you’re in need of an air conditioner tune up, we offer all these services and more. We’ll even provide you with a free quote on the service in question.
Our team of professionals will be at your door as soon as possible to not only fix the problem, but walk you through the process so that when we say goodbye, you can be 100% confident in both us and your HVAC equipment.