How Often Should You Replace Your Furnace Filter?

November 3, 2023


As a homeowner, it’s important to keep your furnace in good working condition to ensure that it runs efficiently and safely. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your furnace is to replace its filter regularly.

But how often should you replace your furnace filter?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide you with a comprehensive guide to furnace filter replacement. It will ultimately help you contact a professional HVAC company on time and ensure your furnace is working in optimum condition.

What Is A Furnace Filter?

Before we dive into how often to replace a furnace filter, let’s first understand what a furnace filter is and what it does.

A furnace filter is a device that is installed in your furnace to trap airborne contaminants such as dust, dirt, and pet dander. The primary function of a furnace filter is to keep these contaminants out of your heating and cooling system, which can cause damage and reduce its efficiency. However, removing these contaminants also improves the air quality in your home.

Also Read: Why You Need A Furnace Humidifier: Benefits And Installation Tips

How Often Should I Replace My Furnace Filter?

The frequency of furnace filter replacement depends on several factors, including the thickness of the filter, the size of your home, and the number of occupants.

Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • 1-inch filters: These filters should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on usage and the level of contaminants in your home.
  • 2-inch filters: These filters should be replaced every 1-3 months.
  • 3-4 inch filters: These filters should be replaced every 6-9 months.
  • 5-6 inch filters: These filters should be replaced every 9-12 months.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and your specific situation may require more frequent filter replacement.

For example, if you have pets or live in an area with high levels of pollution, you may need to replace your filter more often. On the other hand, if you live alone and don’t have any pets, you may be able to go longer between filter replacements.

Factors That Affect Furnace Filter Replacement Frequency

In addition to the thickness of the filter and the size of your home, several other factors can affect how often you need to replace your furnace filter.

These include:

  • Season: Generally speaking, furnace filters don’t need to be changed as regularly during the winter months compared to the summer months. In the winter, as long as the filter isn’t dirty and clogged, you can go the recommended 90 days before needing a replacement. But if you have higher-than-normal usage during a particularly cold period, it may warrant an earlier replacement interval.
  • Home Occupancy: The more people that live in your home, the more contaminants there will be in the air. If you have a large family or frequently have guests over, you may need to replace your filter more often.
  • Pets: Pets shed hair and dander, which can clog up your furnace filter quickly. If you have pets, you may need to replace your filter more often.
  • Allergies: If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, you may need to replace your filter more often to keep the air clean and free of allergens.
  • Renovations: If you’re doing any renovations in your home, you may need to replace your filter more often to keep the air free of dust and debris.

Why Is Changing Your Furnace Filter Important?

Changing your furnace filter regularly is important for several reasons:

  • Improved Air Quality: As we mentioned earlier, the primary function of a furnace filter is to remove contaminants from the air. By replacing your filter regularly, you can improve the air quality in your home and reduce the risk of respiratory problems.
  • Increased Efficiency: A dirty or clogged filter can reduce the efficiency of your furnace, which can lead to higher energy bills and more frequent repairs.
  • Extended Lifespan: By replacing your filter regularly, you can extend the lifespan of your furnace and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

How To Replace A Furnace Filter

Replacing a furnace filter is a simple task that you can do yourself. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your furnace.
  2. Locate the service panel, which is usually located near the bottom of the furnace.
  3. Remove the service panel to access the filter.
  4. Remove the old filter and dispose of it.
  5. Insert the new filter, ensuring it’s facing the right direction (the arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace).
  6. Replace the service panel and turn the furnace back on.

By following the guidelines we’ve outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your furnace filter is replaced at the appropriate intervals. Remember, a clean filter means clean air and a healthy home.

About Fogarty Heating & Ventilation

At Fogarty Heating & Ventilation, we’re committed to delivering quality HVAC services. With years of experience and a team of skilled HVAC professionals, we strive for excellence in every aspect of our services. Whether you need a new furnace installed, regular maintenance, or want us to change your furnace filters, you can trust us.

Get in touch with us today for more information.

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