when to change your furnace filter

How to Know When to Change Your Furnace Filter

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace Filter 

Your relationship with your furnace might mostly consist of turning it on and off. In general, that’s fine. However, there’s one component of this appliance that every furnace owner should have a basic understanding of: the filter. 

Let’s review the basic facts on furnace filter maintenance so that you’ll know when yours is in need of replacement. 

When Should You Replace a Furnace Filter?

There’s no definitive standard for how often you should replace your furnace filter. The type of filter and how often the furnace is used will affect the replacement schedule. 

Filters range in thickness between around one and five inches. Thicker filters tend to be a bit more expensive, but they last longer than thinner ones. 

Thicker filters also form a tighter fit and are better at only allowing filtered air to pass through. However, you need to use a filter that’s appropriate for your system. At your next maintenance visit, ask your HVAC specialist for advice on which filter size to use. 

Whichever type of filter you’re using, it’s best to install a new one at the start of your heating season. Then, check it once per month to make sure that you can replace it before it becomes too dirty. 

Whenever you schedule service from a professional HVAC company, be sure to ask them to check the filters. 

Benefits of Replacing Filters Regularly

Replacing a filter is a simple task. Inspect and replace yours on a regular basis for the following performance benefits. 

Avoid Damage to the Furnace

A furnace has to work extra hard to push air through dirty filters. This can result in damage, poor performance, and a shorter lifespan for the appliance. 

Better Indoor Air Quality

A used-up air filter is less able to block dust and allergens from circulating throughout your home. Since you spend more time indoors during the winter, indoor air quality is especially important during the months when your furnace is in use. 

Reduce Monthly Costs

With a clean, unclogged filter, your furnace operates more efficiently. This results in monthly savings on your heating bill. 

Signs Your Furnace Filter Needs to be Replaced

Furnaces don’t require much day-to-day maintenance. However, the filter is one component that it’s best to keep your eye on. Inspect your filter monthly. Additionally, keep an eye out for these warning signs that your filter is in need of replacement. 

Your Furnace Takes Longer Than Usual to Heat Your Home

A dirty filter obstructs airflow from the furnace. The heater then overcompensates, running longer to complete each cycle. As a result, your furnace heats your home more slowly and maintains your temperature setting less consistently. 

Your Monthly Bills Increase

If you’re paying more than usual for heat, this could indicate that your furnace’s performance is compromised. 

After receiving a surprisingly high heating bill, check your filters to see if they need to be replaced. A new filter is a minor, routine investment that can result in considerable savings if it brings your furnace back to optimal efficiency. 

You Start to Feel Sick

A dirty filter worsens your indoor air quality. Poor air quality can result in allergic reactions, respiratory discomfort, and a generally unpleasant indoor environment. 

If you’re sneezing and coughing more or you notice excessive dust settling around your home, check your filters. 

If you’re sensitive to indoor air quality, use a disposable filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) between 11 and 13. Higher MERV scores indicate superior performance. Just keep in mind that filters with the highest MERV scores (over 13) are typically designed for specialized uses, such as hospitals. 

Your Home is Getting Dustier and Dustier

Proper airflow in a home helps prevent dust buildup. When your furnace filter is clogged, it’s less able to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the air. 

If you find that a layer of dust quickly resettles on your furniture after each cleaning, check your filter to see if it’s time for a replacement. 

Scheduling an Inspection for Your Heating System

To make sure that your entire heating system stays in top condition, contact Advanced Heating and Cooling for an inspection. We install, repair and maintain furnaces throughout the Boise, Idaho region. 



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