One chore that’s easy for homeowners to overlook is routinely checking and replacing their furnace filter. After all, your heating system is typically out of sight, out of mind unless there’s a problem.
Even in the dead of winter, it’s important to keep up with routine heating system maintenance to make sure the unit continues working for the remainder of the season. A simple inspection of the system’s filter can determine whether or not it’s time for a replacement.
Reasons to check your furnace filter
- Extend the life of your furnace. When the filter is clogged with contaminants, it causes the heating system to work harder to circulate warmed air through your home. This extra stress on the system could cause premature wear and tear.
- Decrease energy costs. When your furnace has to work overtime to push air through a clogged filter, it could raise your energy bills each month.
- Clean, fresh air. Dirty furnace filters continue to recirculate contaminated air. Swapping the filter out with a fresh one will improve your indoor air.
- Relief for allergy sufferers. Even during the colder months of the year, there are contaminants in the air that can cause problems for allergy sufferers. If the filter looks dirty, get it replaced.
- Warm your home in less time. When the filter is clogged, it takes longer for warm air to circulate through your home. If it feels like it’s taking forever for your home to warm up, the filter may be clogged.
When do I need to replace my filter?
No two homes are the same when it comes to their heating needs, and for this reason, your furnace filter may need to be changed more or less often depending on several factors, including the following:
- Pets. If you have cats or dogs in your home, there will likely be pet hair and dander in the air. These contaminants can clog your furnace filter, restrict air flow, and cause problems for allergy sufferers.
- Smokers. Smoke-filled air can cause your filter to get dirtier much more quickly than usual.
- Germs. Winter is prime time for colds and flu. Germs floating through the air in your home will continue to recirculate. If someone in your home has been sick, it’s time to replace the filter.
Be sure to set a date on your calendar each month to check your filter. It may be helpful to create a reminder on your smartphone, or you could leave a note for yourself on the fridge.
After you get into a routine of checking your furnace’s filter on a regular basis, it will be an easier task to remember to perform each month.