The general rule of thumb when it comes to changing your furnace filter is to change it approximately every 3 months.
There are many factors that can contribute to the life of your furnace filter. Some of these things include the environment you live in and its air quality, your lifestyle, number of people in your household, pets, or some products you use within you home.
The Filters Purpose
Your furnace filter is responsible for catching airborne particles and stopping them from being sucked into your furnace. They catch dust, debris, pet hair, mold, bacteria, and other allergens. That being said their main purpose is to protect the furnace and their secondary purpose is to improve your air quality.
How Often Should You Really Replace Your Filter?
There are a number of different kinds of filters that your furnace may have. Most commonly furnace filters are either 1 inch or 3-4 inches thick or 6 inches thick. The thickness of your filter can change the frequency in which it needs to be changed.
When looking at filters that are 1-2 inches thick, they need to be changed every 1-3 months. 3-4 inch thick filters need to be changed every 6 months. A 6 inch furnace filter is able to be changed once per year.
Pet Hair & Furnace Filters
Having pets in your home means that you will want to change your furnace filter more often than the average time. They shed lots of hair and dander that works its way into your furnace filter. When you have pets in the home a standard 1-2 inch thick filter would need to be changed every 3-6 weeks.
What Happens if Your Don’t Change Your Filter
As we mentioned, your furnace filters first and most important job is to protect your furnace from the small particles in your air. If you left your filter unchecked and unchanged it would eventually build up and restrict air flow through your system. This can cause a number of other issues. It can cause your furnace to have to work too hard to get the proper amount of airflow, which can then cause parts on your furnace to quit or eventually cause your whole system to fail.
This is your friendly reminder to check your furnace filter!
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“Life is too short for mediocre cleaning”