You might think, in the safety of your home, you’re safe from the problem pollution can cause you.
But with thousands of early deaths a year in the United States due to the effects of pollution, you shouldn’t be complacent.
That’s why ensuring you make a filter change on your major appliances could be beneficial to your health. But how often should you be changing your filters?
Don’t worry if you don’t know. Here are 10 items in the home with filters you should look to change on a regular basis.
1. Water Filtration
Water filtration is beneficial if you’re worried about the quality of your water supply. Water filters help to filter out toxic chemicals like lead and chlorine to give you cleaner, healthier water to drink and use.
Because of the amount of usage a water filter gets, you’ll need to replace this on a regular basis to ensure the filtration works well, but it depends on the system you have in place. It’ll also depend on the type of pollution being filtered.
A filtered carafe jug, for instance, might need to a replacement filter every month with regular use. A whole household filtration system, dealing with heavier-duty water contamination, might need replacing every few months. It’s likely the mileage of your own filter may vary.
You may find a filtration system you have in place needs a replacement filter sooner than the manufacturer recommends. If that’s the case, and you start to notice your water isn’t looking as clean as it used to, make an early change.
Don’t already have a water filter in place? Here are 15 ways a water filter could improve your lifestyle.
2. Range Hood
When we’re cooking, we don’t give much thought to our range hood. This vital addition to our kitchen appliances help to keep your kitchen clean and cool, but those cooking fumes don’t come without additional hassle.
That hassle is the dirt, grease, and grime which collects up on your range hood exhaust filter. You don’t always have to replace your hood filter, but it does make sense to give it a deep clean on a regular basis.
Removing the filter should be easy, but check your maintenance manual for details. Once you remove the filter, use soap and hot water to remove the grease and grime buildup.
If it’s proving stubborn, leave the filter to soak for a while before you add your own elbow grease. Of course, if the filter’s past it’s prime, it’s time to get a replacement.
If you do need to buy a replacement, range hood filters aren’t too expensive, and should only set you back $10 to $20.
3. Vacuum Cleaner
Ever found yourself doing a spot of house cleaning and finding your vacuum cleaner isn’t picking up the dirt like it used to? Or have you noticed it’s spitting out a lot more grime than it should be?
Check it doesn’t need emptying or need a bag replacement first, but if the air being expelled from your vacuum is dirty, it’s likely your vacuum’s filter needs replacing.
The simplest solution to avoid this is to simply change your filter on a regular basis, especially for cleaners which lack a separate bag to hold the dirt.
How often, however, will depend on the model and how often you use your appliance. Check your appliance manual for ideas on a recommended interval for replacing your filter.
4. Air Purifier
We’ve already mentioned the danger poor air quality can have on your health.
Having an air purifier is an obvious way to help alleviate the problem, but like all these appliances, you need to make air filter changes on a regular basis to keep it working at top efficiency.
Thankfully, most purifiers will alert you when they need you to replace their filter. You can make a quick clean of any ‘pre-filters’ the device has, but the main allergen filter (a high-efficiency particular air filter, or HEPA filter) will need a replacement once or twice a year on average.
Again, this may depend on your own circumstances, especially if the air quality in your home is poor. The cost of these filters varies, but expect to pay around $100 for a good quality filter.
One word of warning, however. Be sure to check the manual for information on how any filter alert system on your purifier works. It may work on a set number of hours of use, or after x amount of time regardless.
If you don’t use your purifier often, it may end up being a waste of cash if the filter isn’t ready for replacement.
Need some additional advice? Here’s some helpful information from the US Environmental Protection Agency on how to choose and maintain an air purifier for your home.
The gas furnace is essential for keeping our homes warm, especially in colder climates, or during the winter, but what happens if you don’t keep your filter clean?
Well, if you’re not maintaining your furnace filter on a regular basis, you could end up with higher fuel bills and a less efficient heating system. You could cause your system damage, especially if the furnace is having to work harder to clear through any clogged piping.
Having filters in place help to prevent particle buildup inside your furnace, keeping the airflow as clean as possible. But how often should you be replacing the filter?
You don’t have to monitor this one every month unless you notice any issues with your system. It’s probably worth checking your filter as the seasons pass, so every 3-4 months.
If it’s time for a replacement, switch it out. Filters will vary, from washable filters to disposable electrostatic alternatives, as well as HEPA filters in areas with poor quality air.
6. Air Conditioner
Like our gas furnaces and our air purifiers, you’re going to need to replace filters on your air conditioning unit from time to time to keep it working. Your AC is designed to circulate and cool down air constantly, picking up any existing air pollution along the way.
You don’t want those to pass through your device, causing maintenance issues or reducing the air quality in your home.
That’s what your filters are designed to stop. If you’re using your AC on a daily basis, or often enough to warrant it, you should look to clean and if necessary, replace the filters in your AC unit once or twice a month.
It won’t only help your health, it should help improve the efficiency of your device and save on your electricity bill in the long run. Want to learn more? Here are 7 facts about AC filters you should probably be aware of.
How often do you check or replace the filters your refrigerator might include?
If your fridge dispenses water or ice, it likely has a filter to ensure the quality of the water or ice stays clean and free of contamination. Don’t be fooled by a taste test, as it doesn’t always guarantee freshness.
Filters like these remove bad smells and tastes, as well as keep your water clear of contamination.
The type of filter you have will have an impact on the contamination being filtered away. Some, for instance, will remove excess chlorine and lead from your water supply.
Changing a fridge water filter is a simple enough process, but you may need to check your device manual to be sure what type of filter you have and how to proceed with the maintenance.
You should look to replace your filter twice a year, and the cost will vary, but you can check current filter costs by checking out the replacement refrigerator filters we could offer you.
You don’t need to replace a filter on a standalone or countertop microwave, as they don’t have any. Phew!
It’s a different story if you have an over-the-range microwave, however. Because of the position of these, and the impact of their airflow, you’re going to need to deal with the same grease buildup issues your range hood has.
Treat your over-the-range microwave grease filter like your range hood filter. Give it the occasional bath in hot, soapy water on a semi-regular basis (a few times a year will do).
If the filter needs replacing, our advice, as always, is to check the manual first and don’t delay, or you may end up with costlier issues to deal with, like replacing an exhaust fan.
9. Swimming Pool
A swimming pool is great for the summer months, but you should be wary about dipping into a pool that isn’t kept clean.
A pool filter helps to keep a pool clean and safe for you to use by acting as a barrier for dirt which can build up. This could be anything from blown leaves to discarded skin cells.
Grim to think about, but even worse to imagine building up and contaminating your pool for you to use, so change your pool filters on a regular basis.
This could be as often as every few weeks, or every few months, depending on the type of filter. Find out more here.
10. Clothes Dryer
Every time we put our clothes through the dryer, the process of heating and spinning the material around causes your clothes to shed some of their material. That’s why Brit’s call them ‘tumble dryers’, and it’s an accurate description.
This excess material, or lint, builds up every time you use your dryer. You should clean this filter every time you use the machine, as excess build up can be a potential fire risk.
You may see a removable filter inside the appliance door, but you may have other filters which require regular cleaning. Check your device manual if you’re not completely sure.
If you see your main lint filter fraying, replace it immediately. Any holes or gaps will allow the material to pass through, building up inside the machine where you can’t see it and adding to any fire risk.
Struggling to keep your dryer in working order? Here’s a rundown on the right way to keep your dryer clean.
Don’t Forget to Filter Change Regularly
As we’ve talked about, it isn’t just pollution you should have concerns about. Clogged filters can cause appliances to burn out and make life harder in the home.
That’s why you should get into the habit of making a filter change on all your major appliances and faucets on a regular basis.
Need help finding the right filter? Drop us a message and we’ll do our best to help!