When Should I Replace My Furnace Filter?

 

It begins in October, the transition to days spent indoors, escaping the startling cold winters of Kansas City. By December we find ourselves cozying up next to fireplaces and settling in for a season indoors. Perhaps we’ll brave the cold for a couple of hours to skate at Crown Center’s Ice Terrace, or take a wintry stroll through the Luminary Walk at Overland Park’s Arboretum. But for the most part, we’ll be hunkering down inside. And so it is important that we employ a few simple strategies to improve the air quality of our home. That’s what we are looking at this week. Today we will look at one major way to protect the air in your home. In our next article we’ll dive into eight additional strategies. 

First, let’s take a look at our furnaces.

Not only will a fresh furnace filter save you money, but it can also keep your family healthier. Dust particles and other allergens become trapped in the furnace filter, reducing air quality and efficiency. By keeping a clean filter, your furnace won’t have to struggle against obstructions, and will run on less power. Also, the excess dust and particles will not be released into the air in your home.

 

First, what level of dust is your furnace filter dealing with?

 

For heavy dust:

One to two-inch filter: Replace monthly

Four-inch filter: Replace every two months

Five-inch filter: Replace every three months

 

For moderate dust:

One to two-inch filter: Replace every two months

Four-inch filter: Replace every four months

Five-inch filter: Replace every six months

 

For low dust:

One to two-inch filter: Replace every three months

Four-inch filter: Replace every six months

Five-inch filter: Replace every twelve months

 

Additional Factors to Consider

 

Of course, there are additional factors to consider. The above guidelines for size of filter, and duration between changes, can be followed in the same manner if you have animals in your home. If there are smokers in the home, your filter will need to be changed much more often to protect air quality. Additionally, if you take advantage of the sunny days to open up your home for a while, you will want to change the air filters a bit more often.

 

We certainly recommend letting fresh air in whenever possible. But be sure to change out your filter more often. If you open your windows regularly, follow this guide for replacing your furnace filter:

One to two-inch filter: Replace monthly

Four-inch filter: Replace every two months

Five-inch filter: Replace every three months

 

Common sense can tell us that excess dust, pollen and other outdoor allergens, pet dander and smoke will reduce the lifespan of our furnace filter. If your family seems to be suffering from more common colds, congestion, or worsened allergy or asthma symptoms, it might be a good time to swap out your filter. Other signs that your filter may need replacing are increased dust buildup around air vents, or a dust odor in your home. Read our follow-up article for eight more small strategies you can employ today to freshen and protect the air in your home.