How Often Should You Replace A Furnace Filter?

December 18, 2020

As mild autumn weather gives way to cold wintertime temperatures, it’s time to get your Somerset, KY, furnace ready. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your furnace throughout the winter months of the year is to check the filter every month. It’s fast and easy to change the filter, and our reliable technicians can show you how to do this during your annual maintenance visit. Here’s what you need to know about how often to replace the filter in your furnace.

Check the Filter Monthly

Check the air filter in your furnace once a month. It’s a good idea to set a reminder on your phone or desktop calendar. Pick a date that’s easy to remember, such as the last Saturday of each month or the first day of each month. If you’re not sure of where the filter is located or how to slide it out, the furnace manufacturer’s website or the owner’s manual should have a diagram and instructions. Our technicians can also show you how to access, check and change the filter during a furnace tune-up visit.

Refer to Your Owner’s Manual

Your furnace’s owner’s manual should specify how often to change the filter. It might give a range, such as every three to six months. When it’s particularly cold, your furnace will run more frequently. This means more air passing through the filter. The filter will get dirty faster, so it’s best to change it every three months in this case. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how often to change the air filter, you may end up invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty. If something goes wrong, and the dirty air filter is to blame, you may have to pay out of pocket for the repair parts and labor. Also, keep in mind that running a furnace with a dirty filter will decrease its efficiency at heating your home by 15% or more. This means higher utility bills and a lower annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) than the furnace would have if it were operating with a clean filter.

General Guidelines for Changing Furnace Filters

There are several general guidelines to follow regarding how often you should replace your furnace filter. The thinner the filter, the shorter its lifespan. Replace 1-inch and 2-inch filters every one to two months. A 6-inch filter should be replaced every three to six months. If it’s visibly dirty when you check it, replace it. You should do this even if the filter is dirty after just one month of use. If your home is more dusty than usual, replace the air filter. It’s also a good idea to clean the vent covers and schedule professional duct cleaning services. If your heating system is running more frequently than usual, change the filter. Dirty filters impede airflow. If you detect a burning odor at the start of a heating cycle, this is likely dust burning in the combustion chamber. It’s wise to change the filter. If you still smell a burning odor, your furnace may need repairs.

Special Circumstances

There are some circumstances in which you’ll need to change the furnace filter more often. If your home includes one or more furry pets, their hair and dander will quickly clog the air filter. You’ll need to replace the filter once a month. If you frequently open doors or windows, outdoor contaminants will get into your home’s air and clog the filter. When a person in your home smokes, the filter will get clogged with particles from tobacco smoke. You’ll need more frequent filter changes.

Consider Your Health

It’s important to consider your health and the health of your household members when checking and replacing furnace filters. If someone in your home suffers from indoor allergies, such as dust, it’s best to replace the filter every month. This is also the case if anyone in your home has asthma or another breathing disorder. If respiratory illnesses are present in your home, you should replace the filter. The filter can trap infectious particles from coughs and sneezes.

When it comes to trustworthy furnace maintenance in Somerset, Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing is the right choice. We’re also here to provide you with dependable heating and air conditioning repair, replacement and installation services. Our plumbing and drain cleaning services keep your home’s plumbing working efficiently. For more details about how frequently to replace your furnace filter, give us at Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing a call.

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