Air filters are an essential part of your heater. They determine how much heat you get and how fresh that air coming off the vents will be. The cleaner your air filter, the more and cleaner the air will be.
If you do not lean your air filter, there will be a lot of dirt and mold accumulation, compromising air quality. While cleaning could help reduce the dust and mold buildup, you will eventually have to change the filter to increase the performance of your heating system.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
This depends on the indoor air quality, the air filter model, the size of your household, the air quality of your surrounding area, and the time of the year.
If you use the basic one- to two-inch filters, manufacturers suggest replacing them between 30 and 90 days. If you use a three- to four-inch filter, you should change it after six to nine months. Finally, if you use a five- to six-inch filter, you should change it after nine to 12 months.
If you have allergies, you could change them more regularly or switch to a better filter. If you have pets, you should change your filter more often than people who don’t.
If you have one pet, you should change it after two months. However, if you have more than one pet, you should change it between 20 and 45 days or more often if you have an allergy. Pets carry a lot of contaminants and also shed hair.
If you have many people living in the house, you should change your filter more regularly than in a place with only one or two people.
During cold months, you should change the filter more often than during warmer months because that is when you use the furnace most. On average, you should change your filter after three months during cold seasons.
If your indoor air quality is not the best, you should not keep the filter in for so long. To improve your indoor air quality, you can use devices like air cleaners and purifiers.
If you smell any mucky smell from your heater, you should replace your filter immediately because it means that there is mold and mildew build-up. Regardless of these conditions and factors, you should always check your air filter regularly to assess its condition.
You could change it sooner or later than the recommended time depending on its condition and how it’s working. You could also set reminders with sounds, so you never miss a change or inspection date.
How to Change an Air Filter
Changing your air filter is easy, and you do not have to call a professional.
- Turn off the heating system.
- Locate the air filter, which is usually where the air is drawn from your home into the heating system, on the wall, or on the ceiling.
- Open the box or remove the grille.
- Locate the filter, which is the size indicated on the box.
- Remove the old filter.
- Replace it with the new filter, and put the grille back on.
After changing, mark that date on the calendar and mark when the next change should be. When buying the new filter, ensure that you look at the size or serial number on the box to get the correct size.
If you change your filter and still experience some problems like bad smells and poor air quality, you should immediately contact an HVAC professional. It could be a problem from other components of the heating system that pose more danger.
Benefits of Changing the Air Filter
- It helps save energy costs: A dirty and clogged air filter makes your heater overwork to deliver enough heat, consuming more energy. Getting a new filter ensures that your heater usually works, eliminating any extra energy costs.
- Saves money for repairs: When the filter is clogged, and your heater works overtime, it overheats. That could cause more damage to the heater, which you might have to pay more for to repair. If this continues, it could break down your heating system, and you might need to install a new one.
- Better air quality: Getting a new filter means that there will not be any dust or mold in the air that comes out of it. This ensures maximum comfort and eliminates any health and allergy risks.
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