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Unfiltered: 5 Replace and Change Filters You May Be Forgetting in Your Home

The average one-person household in the U.S. owns almost 11 different home appliances. For families of six or more, that number jumps to 17.5.

With about 127.59 million U.S. households, that means Americans own no less than 1.4 billion home appliances!

With everything else we own (some 300,000 items, to be more precise), it can be easy to forget about appliance upkeep. For many of us, that means forgetting to clean or change filters.

After all, we don’t see these appliance parts that often, so it’s easy to put their maintenance out of mind. But the longer you delay replacing them, the less efficient the actual device becomes. That can translate to increased energy bills and shorter appliance life.

In some cases, they can even pose health and safety hazards.

So, before any of these happen, set an alarm to remind you of a pending filter replacement! Especially when it comes to these five big-ticket items.

1. Water Filtration System Filter

Got tired of the pricey bottled drinking water that may or may not be really contaminant-free? If so, then you likely made the switch to a home water filtration system. That can either be a whole house system, a reverse osmosis filter, or a faucet or countertop filter.

Whichever type you have, you need to replace its filters at least after every three or four months. This still depends on the type of filter though, as some only need changing after six months.

A sure sign you need to replace filters in your water filtration system is if the clarity of the water changes. The taste may become a bit off too. If you notice some murkiness or an unusual taste from your tap water, take that as a sign you need a filter change ASAP.

Why?

First, because between 9 and 45 million Americans drink potentially-contaminated tap water. If your water filters are already clogged, you can fall victim to water-borne diseases. Diarrhea, giardia, salmonella, E. coli, and cholera are only a few of such illnesses.

2. HVAC Filters

Many of us believe that “staying inside” can protect us from outdoor air pollution. Which is why on average, we devote 90% of our time indoors. The bad news is, the air we inhale within those four walls can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

Luckily, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems come with filters. But like water filters, HVAC filters can become filthy within three months. Sooner if you have pets, if your house is near the road, or if you live in one of the most polluted cities in the U.S.

One of the lesser-known facts about HVAC filters is that they can drive your energy bills up. Whereas new AC filters or clean furnace filters can lower your unit’s energy use by 5% to 15%. Also, by keeping your HVAC filters clean, you can lengthen the life of your system.

Air Conditioning Filter

Before replacing your AC filter, use a measuring tape to get its dimensions first. Measure the length (top to bottom), width (left to right), and depth (front to back). Then, look up the OEM-listed size in your owner’s manual — your own measurement and the listed one should match.

Furnace Filter

Homeowners should also change furnace filters every one or two months. If you have pets or if anyone smokes indoors, it’s best to stick to a once-a-month replacement. The same goes for if you keep your heater on for the most part of the day.

3. Refrigerator Water Filter

Refrigerators with a water dispenser or ice-making tool also have a water filter. If your fridge has these extra features, you should change the filter at least twice a year.

But if your area gets hard water, change the filter more often, as this can make your water and ice cubes cloudy. It can also clog the line supplying water into your fridge, resulting in costly damages. The higher mineral content in hard water can also clog up filters faster.

4. Swimming Pool Filter

Most swimming pool filters have a 2,000-hour life span, which is equivalent to two years. This a good timeline to follow, but make sure you factor in the frequency of pool use too. If you usually hold pool parties, then it’s best to change the filter more often.

You should also consider how frequently you maintain and clean your pool water. If you often forget to disinfect and sanitize your pool, its filter is likely to get dirtier sooner.

Another sure sign you need a new pool filter is if its mesh is already frayed or if you see cracks on it. These damages are reducing your filter’s efficiency in capturing and trapping contaminants.

5. Air Purifier Filters

Most home air purifiers have a pre-filter and a main filter (usually HEPA filters). But before you go for an entire home air filter replacement, inspect both filters first. You may only have to wash the pre-filter, which you should do at least once a month.

Main filters, especially the HEPA kind, requires replacement every six to 12 months. Most modern air purifiers have a display screen that tells users if they need to change the main filter. Some also alert users of the number of hours the device has been running.

If yours doesn’t, and you don’t run the purifier all the time, give it a good inspection first. You may get a few more weeks of use out of it if it’s still clear and clog-free.

Set Up Reminders Now on When to Change Filters

Now that you know when to change filters in your appliances and swimming pool, set up those reminders! Better yet, consider buying your filter replacements from a business offering auto-delivery services. This way, you’ll get those filters delivered to your doorstep whenever you need them the most.

Ready to replace those clogged filters that may already be posing health hazards at home? We can help! Our customer service specialists are ready to answer any filter-related questions you have.

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