As cooler temperatures descend across the country, many people are firing up their furnace for the first time since spring. While it is important to change your furnace filter regularly to optimize its performance, a fresh filter will also help improve indoor air quality. Not only does replacing your filter on a routine basis extend the life of your furnace motor; it also cleans dust, allergens, dirt and debris from the air stream that passes through an HVAC system.
Many people wonder how often they need to change their air filter. The general rule of thumb to follow suggests swapping out a disposable air filter every three months. There are numerous factors that could change the frequency in which you replace your filter. If you find that you are running your HVAC system more often than usual due to extended periods of extreme high or low temps, it is a good idea to switch your filter out sooner. This is also true if you have several pets or have had your windows open during high pollen peaks. These conditions will elevate the number of allergens polluting your indoor air and may require greater frequency in filter replacement. You will also need to change your filter if your HVAC system has been sitting dormant for a while. When in doubt about the effectiveness of your filter, change it.
It is also important to learn about the various filter options available on the market. HEPA and activated carbon filters work best in filtering out harmful VOCs and allergens from your home air. Electrostatic filters are a semi-permanent option newer to the market and require frequent cleaning in lieu of replacement. They attract dust particles like a magnet and are great for removing allergens. Learn more about your various filter options from an HVAC professional and choose the right one based upon your needs. Avoid purchasing bargain priced filters that are unable to offer your home air the same level of filtration as some of the newer more improved types of filters.
It is also a good idea to set a reminder in your phone to alert you to the next time you should change out your furnace filter. Many people estimate when they made their last filter replacement and install a new one several weeks past a filter’s prime efficiency. Setting a reminder in a smart phone will ensure that you change your filter on time every time so that the quality of your home air does not suffer.