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Resources Blog How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter

Your furnace filters are a critical part of your entire HVAC system, not just your heat. Know when to change them can be challenging, with so many different recommendations from various professionals. While there are general recommendations, these can lead to extra wear on your system or replacing your filters more than needed. Here are some things to consider that affect how long your filters may last and how to determine when it is time to replace them.

Types of Filters

First, understand that not all filters are created the same. You have simple fiberglass filters, which are the least expensive and also last the shortest time. The general rule of thumb for these filters is to replace them every 30 days.

Then you have various forms of advanced filters. Some offer extended life, while others boast about removing more contaminants from your air. Be sure to read the insert that comes with your filter to plan for the expected service life.

However, the rule of thumb or marketed filter life is an average and may not be what you experience. There are a lot of variables that can extend or limit the service life of your air filters.

Variables Affecting Filter Life

One of the most common variables in your home affecting your filter life is your air quality. Air quality generally refers to the number of contaminant particles circulating in the air. When you have more particles in the air, it will clog your filter more quickly.

If you have recently completed a home construction project, just as mudding and painting, you should check your filters. These kinds of projects are notorious for clogging filters quickly.

Check your humidity levels. The EPA suggests the optimal indoor humidity level is between 30% to 50%. If your humidity is less than that, you will have more particles circulating in your air, working on clogging your filters.

A sure sign of your air quality needs some improvement is to watch the amount of dust in your home. Be especially watchful of dust collecting around your furnace vents, which is a subtle sign of collecting contaminants in your filter. There are also less subtle signs your filters may need to be changed.

Low Airflow From Your Vents

Pay attention to how much air is coming from your vents. If you notice the amount of air is not as much as it has been, it is strongly indicative of an airflow restriction. The most common restriction is at your air filters and is also the easiest to solve.

Pull them out and see how they look. If you can see significant dust collecting on the surface of the intake side of the filter, then it is time to replace them. You can try to vacuum off the intake side periodically to help extend their life.

Furnace Is Short Cycling

Short cycling is when your furnace turns on and then turns off before it achieves the desired temperature in your space. This is caused by the furnace overheating because it is not able to circulate air properly.

Your furnace has several safety switches to ensure it is working properly and shut it down in the event of a problem. If the burn chamber gets too warm, this will trigger safety switches to prevent damage. The most common reason why these overheat is that there is not enough air flowing through the system.

This causes the heat from the burner to get trapped within the system. If you can get more air to flow through the system, you release the trapped heat.

Longer Cycle Times

Before your furnace starts short cycling, you may notice that your furnace may be running for longer periods of time. Not only does this cost more in heating your home, but it also starts adding unneeded stress to your system.

Long cycles can be hard to catch if you are not paying attention. Some smart thermostats offer cycle tracking, so you can catch problems early. Otherwise, you are left to watch your monthly bill, which lets problems fester.

B&B Heat and Air, Inc has been providing residential and commercial heating and air conditioning services to the Grove, OK, area since 1983. Our award-winning technicians are experts in troubleshooting both common and uncommon airflow restrictions. Call to schedule your heating repair today.

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B & B specializes in both the Residential and Commercial Markets for Heating & Air-Conditioning products and services. We also are pleased to offer a variety of Indoor Air Quality Products.

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