7 Obvious Signs You Need to Change Your Air Filter at Home

Did you know that the quality of the air in your home can have a huge impact on your physical health? If you’re suffering from unexplained headaches, dizziness, fatigue, or irritation of your eyes, nose, and throat, your dirty air filter could be to blame!  

A dirty or clogged air filter is often a source of indoor air quality problems. The good news is, it’s very easy to fix. The hardest part seems to be remembering to do it.

Creating a seasonal home maintenance checklist and changing your filter on a schedule is a great idea. However, if that’s not your style, then you’ll want to make sure you know how to recognize that it’s time to change out your filter. Start with these seven telltale signs.

1. You Can See Dirt on the Filter

The most obvious sign that you need a new air filter is if the one you have is gray and dirty. Make it a point to pull the air filter out and take a look at it at least once every other month. If it looks dirty or dusty, replace it.

This will help ensure that you can proactively take care of the issue before it causes poor air quality or other problems.

2. Your Home is Dusty

Have you noticed that your home is dustier than usual? If so, the air filter might be to blame. The purpose of an air filter is to pull dirt and dust out of the air before it circulates through your home.

When it’s full, the dust won’t get caught and will instead accumulate throughout your house. In particular, you might notice dust accumulating around your air vents.

3. You’re Having Allergy Symptoms

If you or a loved one suddenly starts having allergy symptoms – like a sore throat, red eyes, or a runny nose — you’ll want to take a look at your air filter. If the air filter is clogged, it can start to create pressure within your HVAC system, which can force outdoor allergens into your home.

A few days after replacing it, you should start to feel some relief.

4. You Notice a Strange Smell

A burning smell coming from your HVAC unit can be a sign that the air filter is dirty and clogged. It’s also possible for mold or mildew to accumulate in your air filter. Any time you notice a strange smell in your home, don’t ignore it!

5. Your AC Unit is Hot

A clogged air filter will cause your HVAC system to work overtime because it has to use more force to push the same amount of air through the filter. If you notice that the unit is hot to the touch, check the filter right away.

If you change the filter and the unit still isn’t cooling down, call a technician to come to take look at it. You may have a bigger problem.

6. You Fail the “White Sheet Test”

Wondering if you’re having issues with your air filter? Hang a white sheet right in front of your air vent. The dirtier the sheet gets, the bigger an indication that you need a new air filter.

7. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Did It

Generally, your home air filter needs to be replaced anywhere from once every one to six months, with the average being every three months. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced it, then you’re probably overdue.

Other Things That Impact Replacement Frequency

It would be easier if all air filters needed to be changed on a set schedule, but, unfortunately, there are a lot of variables that impact the frequency with which a filter needs to be changed. For example, if you smoke or have pets in the home, your air filter will get dirty much faster.

Filters with low MERV ratings need to be changed out more often. Your filter also tends to get dirtier during peak use. So, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to change it out more often in the dead of winter and when the summer temperatures start to climb. It’s often a good idea to check your filters once a month during these peak times.

Why Change Your Air Filters?

Not only can a dirty air filter make you sick, but it’s been proven that clean air leads to better physical and mental health. Beyond that, however, there are some other compelling reasons why you need to replace a dirty air filter.

  • HVAC system performance – a clogged air filter restricts air from flowing through your HVAC system. This can lead to overheating and even expensive breakdowns.
  • Temperature control – when the air can’t flow through your system properly, it also makes it difficult to maintain the set temperature. If your home is warmer than it should be, the air filter could be the problem.
  • Energy efficiency – as your system is taxed, it requires additional energy to run. This will result in higher electric bills and a larger carbon footprint.

A new air filter is inexpensive, making keeping up with replacements a no-brainer!  

Replace Your Dirty or Clogged Air Filter Now!

Now that you know the problems that a dirty or clogged air filter can create, you’ll want to change yours out right away. Luckily, you can easily order one online and have it delivered to your home in just a few days.

Take a look at our wide inventory of air filters and tips for choosing the perfect one for your needs. There’s no need to wait, order yours today!