How and When to Change Your Home’s Air Filters

July 03, 2018

How and when to change the air filters in your home

Keeping your home’s HVAC system running efficiently isn’t only a money concern, it can also be a matter of health. During summer hot spells and the chilliest winter days, we spend extra time indoors, and it’s important to keep the quality of the air we’re breathing in mind.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep the air in your home clean, while also improving the life of your HVAC system, is to regularly change furnace air filters.

How do you know when to replace your filters?

If the dirt or dust is thick enough to block the filter material, you need to replace it. If your filter becomes too dirty, airflow is restricted and your unit has to work extra hard to circulate air through your house. That means higher energy costs and an overworked HVAC system.

Telltale signs of a dirty furnace filter are extra dirt or dust particles around your house or the onset of a musty dirt smell inside. Sinus congestion can also be related to the air quality inside your home, if the air is not clean your nose won’t be happy.

Lastly, if you haven’t used your system in a while, it’s a good idea to check your filters before you turn things back on.

Pro tip: If your filter is getting super grimy every month, it might be time for a home air duct cleaning appointment. These can be done every two or three years to keep your unit running smoothly.

How often should you replace your filters?

For standard HVAC units, check your filters monthly for dirt buildup. If a filter is dirty, it’s time to replace it. At the very least, most filters should be changed about every three months, and high-efficiency units can go up to four months. Still, we suggest at least checking filters monthly to gauge how quickly they become dirty. Finally, it is recommended to replace filters on a shorter schedule if you have pets in your home, if anyone in your house suffers from allergies, and during months when your unit is used more heavily.

Pro tip: Quality over quantity. Buying the least expensive filters can be tempting, however they’re often designed to only last a month between replacements so you end up spending more money for poorer quality air in your home. For two free high-quality filters from Filterjoy delivered to your home, head here.

How do you replace your air filters?

Replacing your filters is a simple process that you’ll have down in no time.

The first step is to locate the filters in your home either on your furnace or inside your return air vents. Then write down the sizes of your filters. Once you have the correct filter size, open the vent and look for an arrow on the current filter indicating the direction of airflow. It may be helpful to write this down as well as your filters will need to point in that direction to function properly.

Remove the old filter and install the new one with the arrows going in the same direction. Close the vent and you’re all set. Make a note on your calendar to check in a month to see if any dirt has built up in that time.

Changing your filters regularly is an easy step to keep the air in your home clean and to improve the life of your HVAC system. If you have questions about the right filter sizes and types for your home call us today!

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