With the $22 billion spent by Americans on heating and cooling costs every year, a lot of that spending is due to inefficiency.
If you help your system to run more efficiently, you could be saving money on energy costs and helping to reduce waste. If you want to know how often should you change your furnace filter, you need to get to know a little more about your system.
Here are the top 7 reasons to help you decide when to change your furnace filter.
1. When You Buy A New Place
If you’ve recently moved into a new home or purchased some property, you’re going to be inheriting everything that the former residents left behind. There’s sure to be some things left in the medicine cabinet, things shoved under the floorboards by kids, and definitely loads of dirt and grime. Even if the former tenants cleaned the place out, there are always corners that grime and dust can hide in.
Before you start inhabiting the place, you should check out the furnace filter. It’s likely there is going to be a thick dense carpet of dust and hair that’s been collected by it. Put in a new filter immediately and dispose of the old one.
One of the main centers for dust and grime to settle is on the inside of the HVAC system. Before you move in, you should open all the windows and throw on the system. If it sounds good and starts up smoothly, let it run for awhile with the windows open. You’re likely going to have a lot of stale air and even some mold to let out of the system.
After you’ve let it run for an hour or two, you can go back into the home. You should do a good dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning up before you move anything in. Call an HVAC professional and see if they can clean out the system if any smells or staleness persists.
2. When You’re Sensing Trouble
One of your best tools in dealing with your HVAC system is by listening to it. If you hear your system struggling, it could be struggling to pull in air or push it out. One of the quickest ways to deal with your system is to change the filter.
This way, you’ll be moving any obstruction from your HVAC system. Before you jump to switch out the filter, listen to what it sounds like. After you switch the filter, listen and see if you can hear a difference.
It might sound the same at first but could change after a few minutes.
If the problem persists, you’ll need to call in a specialist. Describe the kinds of sounds that you heard and what you suspect is wrong with the system. They might not agree but it’ll give them a place to start looking at the system from.
Provide any service records that you have on hand. If they can see that a certain part hasn’t been changed in a while, they might be able to fix the system quickly. If the sound persists after they leave, ask them to describe it better to you. Call another service professional for a second opinion if you don’t trust what they’ve done.
3. Following Service
After your system is serviced, you might find that you’re not noticing a difference. The first step you need to take is to switch out the air filter. Your service professional could have knocked out a clog or a ball of dust that was obstructing your system and it could now be stuck against your filter.
You should try to start fresh whenever your system is serviced.
If you get your system serviced on an annual basis, you’ll be assured that your HVAC system remains healthy and in working order for years to come. If you change out your filter at least as often as you get it serviced, you’ll be helping the system along. For best results, change your filter at least every 6 months.
When your system is serviced, ask the service professional if they can recommend any changes to the type or thickness of the filter you’re using. Different systems and climates will have different needs. Your service professional has seen every type of filter on the planet so they’re a great resource for figuring out what will keep your system healthy.
4. When Breathing Is Tricky
If you or anyone in your home has allergies, you need to take filter changing seriously. Changing your filter infrequently will allow dust to linger and mold to stay in your home. As your filter is intended to keep dust and grime out of your air, it’s the best ally of someone who suffers from allergies.
As air is pulled in, the filter keeps dust and grime from circulating throughout your house. It shouldn’t be the only thing in your home filtering the air, but it’s certainly a dependable tool. For people with allergies, you need help to keep from feeling the effects of an allergic reaction, especially as seasons change.
You should change the filters as often as you feel like it, perhaps even monthly. You’ll be keeping more of the allergens out of your air and helping everyone inside your home to breath easier.
Once a filter is full of dust and dirt, it’ll have trouble trapping more dirt and dust. The dirt and grime that doesn’t get caught will just circulate in the air and end up irritating your respiratory system.
5. When Pets Get Groomed
If you have furry friends in your home, they could cause you to need to have your filters changed more often. Shedding cats and dogs leave those lovely balls of hair that blow around your hardwood floors when the wind comes through your window. Those balls of hair pick up dust and quickly make their way to your filters.
As the filters get covered in fine hair and dust, the performance of your HVAC system will suffer. It’ll drag and slow as it struggles to pull air in to force through the other end of the system.
If you have multiple pets in your home, you might find that your filters become clogged more than anyone you know. Always keep some spare filters around so that you can switch them out whenever you feel they’re full. Spring and summer, pets tend to shed a little more, so you’ll find that the filters will clog up much more quickly.
Pet dander and hair can also trigger allergies.
If you’re not sure what’s going on with your filter, go ahead and check it today. Set a reminder on whatever scheduling software you use to check on it every few weeks. If you notice that it’s clogging up quickly, you might have to adjust your filter changing schedule.
6. When The Bill Goes Up
If you’ve noticed a sudden spike in your utility bill, it might be due to issues with your filter. Changing the filter to your HVAC system changes the amount of energy that your system needs to use to draw air up into it. If it’s easier for your system to draw air into itself, your bill will go down.
The US Department of energy even encourages people with an HVAC system to change filters to save energy. They claim you could be saving 5% to 15% off your energy bill just by changing your filters regularly.
If you’re also into saving the environment, you can surely see the value in using less energy in your home. Even if you’ve got an energy efficient HVAC system, failing to change the air filter will slow it down to a crawl.
The wear and tear that your system suffers because of a dirty filter will not only slow it down but also cause components to need to be replaced more often. This will mean that you’ll have to dispose of new components and throw out the old ones. Whether you’re a conservative spender or into energy conservation, that’s a lose-lose situation.
Changing your filter is better for everyone.
7. When You Buy Cheap Panels
Buying cheap panels means that you’ll have to replace them more often. Depending on how thick they are the material that they’re constructed from, you’ll find that you’ll be replacing cheap ones more often that expensive one.
While you might like to save money, consider paying for check out the furnace filter. Your respiratory health and the health of your family could depend on it. If you’ve got people with allergies in your home, that’s all the more reason to spend a little extra.
You might only need to replace them every 6 months, rather than monthly with the cheap ones.
How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter? It Depends
The kind of system you have and what your climate conditions are will solve how often should you change your furnace filter.
Furnace filters can become clogged quickly if your system sucks in lots of dirt and grime. The cleaner you can keep your home, the less often you’ll have to change your filter.
If you want to know more about furnace filters in general, check out the furnace filter.