How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to maintain the health of your HVAC system is to simply change the air filter on a regular basis. Read on for a brief explanation from the experts at Baggett Heating & Cooling of the importance of changing your furnace filter often.

The Role of Furnace Filters

A furnace filter is an essential component of any forced air heat pump, air conditioner, or furnace system, typically located at the return air grille or inside the air return duct at the indoor unit. The air filter ensures that the air circulated throughout your home is clean and healthy for breathing. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Your heating and cooling system pulls in fresh air from the return ducts
  2. Air then passes through the air filter before it is heated or cooled
  3. Conditioned air then moves into the blower compartment, where the blower fan moves it out through the ductwork that has forged a trail in our home

When your air conditioning or heating system is running, the filter works by capturing various contaminants that would otherwise be dispersed into the air, such as dust, pet dander, and other airborne particles. The air filter attempts to remove as many contaminants as possible before air flows to the heating or cooling equipment and is then blown back into our rooms. As a result, the filter keeps heating and cooling equipment operational and it also helps to improve indoor air quality and prevents respiratory problems, especially for those with allergies or asthma.

Why You Need to Change a Furnace Filter Regularly

If the furnace filter is very seldom changed, it will become clogged and the air will not move through the system efficiently. That will make the system work harder, because of the increased difficulty to pull the air through. This puts strain on the system, resulting in higher energy bills and reduced efficiency. When the system works harder than usual, it can cause damage to HVAC system components, leading to system failure and costly repairs.

Moreover, when the existing filter is dirty, it can no longer filter air and trap dust, small particles, and other debris, so these airborne particulates stay in your home’s air supply. A dirty furnace filter means dirt and dust continue to circulate throughout your home, leading to poor air quality.

Poor indoor air quality can pose a threat to your health, causing allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other illnesses. These issues can significantly affect the health of household members, particularly young children, elderly residents, and anyone with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

How Often to Change a Furnace Filter

It is essential to replace your furnace filter regularly to ensure that your HVAC system works efficiently and effectively. The frequency at which you should install a new furnace filter depends on various factors such as the level of air pollution in your area, the number of household members, and the presence of pets. As a general rule, it is recommended that homeowners change their air filter every one to three months.

As mentioned, there are some factors that can impact how often you need a new filter in your HVAC unit, including:

  • Household Size: The more people that are living in your home, the more dust, dirt, and pollutants that will be circulating in your air. This means that if you have a larger family, you may need to replace your filter more frequently.
  • Pets in the Home: If you have a furry friend, their shedding can add a significant amount of hair and dander to your air. This can clog up your air filter and reduce its effectiveness, so pet owners may need to change their filter more often.
  • Type of Filter: There are many different replacement filter products on the market, ranging from basic fiberglass filters to pleated, high-efficiency filters and even reusable filter options. The type of filter you have can impact how often it needs to be replaced. Generally, pleated air filters will need to be changed less frequently than fiberglass options.
  • Air Pollution: If you live in an area with high levels of outdoor pollution or smog, this can contribute to poor indoor air quality. This means you may need to change your filter more frequently to ensure that your air stays clean.
  • HVAC System Usage: Finally, how often you use your HVAC system can impact how frequently you need to replace air filters. If you use your heating or cooling system frequently, such as during extreme hot or cold weather, this will circulate more air through the filter and increase the rate at which most air filters become clogged.

Air Purifiers Help Keep Furnace Filters and Air Clean

By installing a whole home air purifier, you can significantly reduce the amount of airborne particles in your home. This equipment provides your existing air filter with a cleaner and longer lifespan so you don’t need a new filter as frequently.

The air purifier works to trap large particles as well as microscopic ones from the air before they even have a chance to enter your furnace filter. Additionally, it can also trap and remove bacteria, mold spores, and viruses, providing good air quality and helping you maintain a comfortable and healthy home environment.

Replace That Dirty Filter to Keep Your Home Safe & Comfortable

In conclusion, changing your furnace filter regularly is critical for maintaining good air quality in your home, promoting good health, and reducing the energy costs of heating and cooling your house. Is a regularly changing furnace filter not enough to improve the efficiency of your equipment?

Boost your home’s air quality even further, consider investing in an air purifier or other air quality solutions from Baggett Heating & Cooling. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your home’s air quality and keep your family healthy and comfortable year-round.