How Often Should I Change My Furnace’s Filter?

January 12, 2017

As one of the most integral components of your home, and one which is responsible for the comfort and safety of your family, your furnace deserves consistent care and attention in order to function at peak efficiency. In addition to scheduling professional routine maintenance each fall, there are a number of steps you can take as a homeowner to save energy, increase comfort levels, and protect your investment. One of the simplest and most effective of these is changing your furnace filter, but just how often should you change it?

HVAC maintenance, including an annual heating system tune-up, is a preventive measure that helps to increase efficiency, decrease energy bills, and ensure the longevity of your equipment. The experienced technicians at Rick’s Heating & Cooling will check your air filtration system as part of this vital service, but without regular filter changes throughout heating season, many of the benefits will be lost.

Air Filter Types

Furnace filters range in size, style, and price, to suit your needs and budget. While you may be overwhelmed at the selection, choosing the right filter isn’t as hard as you may think. To begin, consult your owner’s manual to determine the size and type of filter your furnace requires, and buy the highest efficiency filter you can afford, within the parameters of the manufacturer’s guidelines. Efficiency is determined by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating, where a bigger number equates to better filtration. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with the average home utilizing a filter rated between 7 and 13.

How Often to Change Your Air Filter

There are a number of factors to consider when determining the length of time needed between filter changes, including:

  • Type of filter. Inexpensive fiberglass air filters need to be changed more frequently than pleated or electrostatic filters, which are more efficient at trapping particles.
  • Indoor air quality. Poor air quality can affect the health of anyone in the home with compromised or weakened immune systems, or those suffering from allergies. If allergy symptoms worsen, there is excessive construction in the area, or you’re experiencing frequent colds, you may want to purchase a better quality air filter or change it more often.
  • Number of pets. Pet hair and dander can clog your air filter more quickly than usual. Choose a filter that targets pet dander, and be prepared for more frequent filter changes.
  • Number of occupants. The more people in your home, the greater the production of dust, hair, and dirt, requiring more frequent filter changes.

While there is no definitive answer to how often you should change your air filter, a good rule of thumb is to check your filter once a month during peak heating season, and change it when it becomes dirty.

Precision HVAC Tune-Ups In Southwestern Ohio

Schedule annual HVAC maintenance with Rick’s Heating & Cooling each fall, to prevent major repairs, lower your energy bills, and ensure continuous operation throughout the winter months. Signing up for a Service Maintenance Agreement provides you additional benefits, including a discount on repairs, priority scheduling, and reminders about seasonal maintenance, for added peace of mind. Contact us today to sign up, and start enjoying all the benefits we have to offer.