Replacement Intervals for Home Air Filters

Written by: Your Filter Connection

Knowing when and how to replace a home air filter can earn you big savings on your monthly energy bill. When your AC or furnace filters go too long without being replaced, the dirt and grime they suck in every day starts to clog them. This lowers the efficiency of your heating and cooling units, meaning they have to work extra hard and stay on longer to keep your home comfortable. The smaller investment of regularly replacing your filters extends the lifespan of your units, saves you on maintenance and overhaul costs, saves you from paying for the extra energy they use, and maybe most importantly, keeps the air you breathe fresh and free of dust and harmful particles.

Basic Rules and Concepts

As a general rule, your air filters need to be replaced once a month for every inch of thickness the filter has. So, a one-inch filter needs to be replaced once a month, and a three-inch filter needs to be replaced every three months. However, this depends on a lot of different factors regarding your home and lifestyle. For one thing, if you live somewhere warm and you hardly ever have to run the heat, you probably won’t need new filters very often. But if you live somewhere hot and run the AC a lot, then you’ll need to stay on top of replacing your air conditioner filter more often. If you have pets, the pet hair and dander will clog your filters faster, and so they should be replaced more frequently. If somebody in your home smokes indoors, then that will also decrease the filter’s life span. To know for sure whether or not you need to replace your filter, simply remove your air filter and check it– if it is visibly dirty or discolored, then it probably needs replacing soon.

Additional Considerations

There are some extra things to consider when it comes to furnace filters. For one, even if you haven’t run your unit in months, it will naturally have collected dust. When you first run your heater, all this dust will burn off, causing an unpleasant odor in your home. While this odor should go away after about a half-hour or so, a dirty air filter can be a fire hazard if the accumulated dust actually manages to ignite when you turn your furnace on. Check your furnace owner’s manual and the safety precautions on your replacement furnace filters to know whether or not your unit is prone to this sort of hazard.
Order replacement air or furnace filters today from Your Filter Connection.