When Should You Replace Your Furnace Filter?

Knowing when to replace your furnace filter is essential for keeping your home's air clean and your HVAC system running efficiently. The frequency of replacement depends on the type of filter you have, the size of your house, and the lifestyle you lead. Let's explore the basics of furnace filters and determine how often you should change them. For filters 3 to 4 inches, change them every 6 to 9 months. For filters 5 to 6 inches, change them every 9 to 12 months.

In most cases, you should replace the filter at least every three months, even in summer. If you can't seem to remember to do it, a good rule of thumb is to change your furnace filter every time the seasons change. For 3- and 4-inch filters, plan a replacement approximately every six to nine months. If you have larger 5- or 6-inch filters, you'll need to change them every nine to 12 months. The thickness of the filter also affects how often you need to replace it.

Thinner filters, such as the traditional disposable model (1 inch thick) should be replaced at least every two months. Thicker filters are designed to be more efficient because the thicker the material, the more dirt you can filter out of your home's air ducts. Even coarse-grated filters need to be changed every 6 to 12 months. When the air filter is clogged with dust, dirt, and grime, the furnace and air conditioner have to work twice as hard to move air around your home. If your furniture fills with dust soon after cleaning the house, the furnace filter could become clogged and no longer effectively remove dust from the air. There are two different types of furnace filters, and the one in your furnace will determine how often it needs to be changed.

No two houses are the same, so despite guidelines, you may need to change your furnace filter more often than your neighbor. Marking your calendar every 90 days or trying to remember the last time you changed your filter can be a challenge, which is why many furnace manufacturers recommend replacing it at the beginning of each new season. Regularly replacing your furnace filter will help your HVAC system last longer. Changing your furnace filter regularly ensures that the air in your home remains free of dust and other contaminants. Even though almost everyone knows about furnace filters, they are still one of the most neglected HVAC maintenance tasks.

These are some of the reasons why replacing your furnace filter is crucial to the comfort of your home and the efficiency of your HVAC system. Filters receive a minimum efficiency report value (MERV), ranging from 1 to 16, although ratings 6 to 12 are best for residential furnaces. If you live in a larger house, that means there's a lot more air moving through the house and the furnace filter. Learning to choose between different types of furnace filters can help keep your home cozy and your air fresh and clean for years to come. Depending on your lifestyle and the type of furnace filter you choose, you may want to change it more often than recommended. Knowing when and how often to replace your furnace filter is essential for keeping your home's air clean and your HVAC system running efficiently.

Marla Cloonan
Marla Cloonan

Devoted web guru. Professional internet maven. Typical social media specialist. Wannabe social media lover. Certified food aficionado. Incurable bacon enthusiast.

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