How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Garner furnace repair and furnace filter change

A steady source of clean air into your furnace is necessary to keep it running smoothly, extending its lifespan, and heating your home, and your filter is key ensuring that flow of clean air. Because it’s hard at work filtering dust, dander, and all kinds of allergens, it needs to be changed, but how often should you change it? While there isn’t a set-in-stone answer, our furnace repair company in Garner is sharing some best practices as well as signs it’s time to replace the air filter in your furnace.

General Recommendations to Change Your Furnace Filter

If you’re using a basic fiberglass filter in your furnace, a general guideline is to change it every 30 to 60 days. If you have a higher quality, pleated filter that’s four inches thick or more, the life span is extended to around every six months. Some filters even have a recommended lifespan of 12 months. However, what guidelines say and what your home needs may be two different things.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Your Air Filter

Every home has different factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) their furnace’s air filter gets dirty and needs to be changed.

  • Pets – Having several furry friends living in your home means more dander and hair will get caught in your filter, requiring more frequent changes than a home with no pets.
  • Dust – If your home gets dusty quickly, whether from carpets that hold onto more allergens and particles, more knickknacks and books, or leaking air ducts, more dust will get cycled back into your air filter.
  • Furnace use – The more you use your furnace, the more often you’ll have to change your filters. Living in North Carolina, you would probably not have to change your filter as often as a person living in Maine simply because your furnace doesn’t have to work as long or as hard.

Checking Your Furnace Filter

It’s a good idea to check your filter once a month to see if it’s time to change it. Not sure what to look for? Consider these signs it’s time to change your filter:

  • The filter itself is visibly dirty and dusty. If you see a layer of grime on the filter, replace it immediately.
  • You notice a burning dust smell near your furnace or a smell when it kicks on.
  • You see more dust around your home (your filter should be removing dust from the air, but if it’s full, it’s not going to do much good).
  • Your furnace is running more frequently or your energy bills are higher than they should be because the efficiency is lower.
  • The furnace is blowing cold air because it’s overheated.

How to Change a Furnace Filter

Simply open the door panel (or slide it open). The filter should be near where the cold air enters the furnace, or in the cold air return duct or the entrance to the blower changer. Remove the old filter and slide in the new filter, making sure to point it in the correct direction with the air flow arrows pointing toward the blower and away from the cold air. Replace the door panel, and you’re set for at least a month.

Schedule Furnace Repair Service in Garner and South Raleigh Today

If replacing the furnace doesn’t fix any of the problems you’re experiencing or you’re in need of more in-depth maintenance, we can help. Our experienced team works in South Raleigh, Garner, and the surrounding area, providing effective repairs that will restore cozy comfort to your home. Give us a call today at (919) 679-9756 or fill out the form below to learn more.