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Cleveland HVAC Blog

How Often You Change The Furnace Filter Matters — A Lot

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 @ 02:52 PM

The furnace air filter is designed to trap airborne particles that cause allergies and asthma, but if you fail to change the furnace filter as often as necessary, it puts added strain on your furnace. If you’re not sure why this is so important, consider the specific reasons why you should change the furnace filter regularly. Then, determine exactly the right time frame for checking and changing the filter in your home.

Reasons to change the furnace filter

  • change your air filterA dirty filter is the top reason for premature furnace failure. When the filter becomes clogged, it restricts airflow and forces the air handler to work harder and can overheat. Over time, this can result in premature furnace failure.
  • A dirty filter increases energy consumption and causes your heating bills to rise.
  • A dirty filter impacts indoor air quality. Since a clogged filter can’t trap any more contaminants, indoor air quality suffers, worsening allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems in sensitive individuals.
  • A dirty filter increases your carbon footprint. When you consume more energy to accomplish the same task, you add more pollutants to the air than necessary.

How often to change the furnace filter

With these points in mind, now you need to determine just how often you should change the furnace filter. The general rule of thumb is to change the filter every month. However, this really only applies to low-efficiency filters that come standard in most heating equipment. One-inch-thick fiberglass pads are adequate at stopping large particles that can quickly accumulate and damage the furnace, but they let smaller particles through that can damage your health and will eventually have an impact on furnace and AC  performance.

That’s why it’s recommended that, at a minimum, you invest in mid-efficiency filters with less space between fibers. Look for accordion-shaped filters with an electrostatic charge for great efficiency without restricting airflow. Then, plan to check the filter every month and change it after no longer than three months have passed. You may find it necessary to change the filter a little more often if you smoke or have pets.  It is not a bad idea to investigate the added benefits of a higher efficiency filter especially if you have any health related concerns or simply want to achieve a better indoor environment.

To learn more about how to change the furnace filter, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We serve the greater Cleveland area.

free air filter reminder from PK Wadsworth

photo credit

Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: heating, air filters, indoor air quality, furnaces

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