Having a clean furnace filter has a number of benefits. The biggest ones being the fact that the air in your home will be as clean as possible, as well as the fact that you will be increasing the life of your furnace. Both of these benefits can save you a great deal of money. The key is to be sure that you replace the filter as is advised by most heating professionals.
The frequency in which you need to change your furnace filter will depend on a number of factors. The main factor is the size of the filter itself. A small filter, ranging from 1 to 2 inches thick, will need to be replaced monthly. While the filter may not appear to be dirty, it is important to remember that its purpose is to prevent any dust or debris from entering the furnace itself. A 3 to 4 inch filter can be replaced a little less frequently, at about every 2 months. A 5 inch filter can wait even longer, at every 3 months.
In addition to the size of the filter, the amount of dust and debris produced by your home can be a major factor. Recently constructed homes as well as extremely old homes can produce a lot more dust than a typical home. This is from construction materials settling or the degradation of the home over time. Monitoring your filter can tell you if it might need more frequent replacement. How much material accumulates when you vacuum or sweep can also be a good indicator of how much dust is produced by your home.
If you have pets in your home you will definitely need to replace the filter far more often than typically recommended. Pets can produce a great deal of fur and dander, which eventually make it to the filter by the intake of air. The increased frequency of changing needed will depend on the number of pets that you have, as well as how much they shed. By keeping an eye on your filter for the first few months can give you an idea of how often you will need to change it. Essentially, if there is visible build up of hair or dust, it is time for it to be changed.
The key is to be sure that you learn the particular needs of your filters and home. Monitoring the filter can give you a timeline for how often it needs to be changed. From there you will want to set a schedule, either using a calendar or a reminder in your phone. This is something that is often forgotten and neglected by home owners, which leads to the furnace needing to be replaced far sooner than it would otherwise. Making this one task a priority can save you literally thousands of dollars over time.
There are also things that you can do to increase the life of your filters themselves. One of the biggest things you can do is keep your home as clean as possible. The more often that you sweep and vacuum, the less often you will have to replace the filters. This is because you will be collecting the dirt, dust and hair before it reaches the furnace. Making a priority to have your air ducts cleaned on a regular basis can also play a major role. Air ducts build up a layer of dust over time. This is then distributed through your home when the heat or air conditioning is running.
Keeping your home clean, the ducts maintained and replacing your furnace filter on a regular basis can all go a long way towards increasing the life of your furnace. A furnace is one of the most expensive appliances in a home. One of the biggest causes of their failure is directly related to not properly maintaining it. Ensuring that you make this a priority will increase the life of your furnace and save you far more than replacing the filters will cost. Understanding that you are making an investment in your furnace is essential. Not only will you be increasing the quality of the air in your home, but you will be taking an active role in maintaining your property.