Are you neglecting your furnace filter?
Noticing a foul smell in the air? Air conditioner not blowing enough cool air? Look to your furnace filter. Not only is a furnace filter critical for your indoor air, but a dirty filter can affect the performance of your heating and air conditioning equipment.
A dirty filter can…
- Lower indoor air quality
- Restrict airflow
- Shorten the lifespan of your air distribution equipment and/or outdoor air conditioner or heat pump
- Cause unpleasant odors in your home
Changing your furnace filter doesn’t have to be difficult. The trick is simply REMEMBERING to do it. You can control the amount you spend on a filter by choosing different filtration power. There are even services that will send you a furnace filter as often as you need it so that you don’t forget.
Most people don’t change their filter often enough to even meet the bare minimum recommendation – once a season. For some homeowners, even once a season is not enough. Here are some factors that could influence how often you should change your furnace filter.
Have pets? Consider changing your filter once a month. Homes with a dog or cat that sheds will go through filters more quickly due to Fido’s fur floating in the air. Plus, you want your pets to be seen and loved – not smelled. Accumulation of pet furn on your filter can lead to unpleasant animal odors.
Suffer from allergies? You may also want to consider changing your filter up to once a month. Or, you can invest in a more powerful filter. Just remember, there can be such a thing as too much filtration. Don’t get a filter that is too restrictive on your airflow. Talk to your contractor about the best filtration level for your home.
Smell something funny? It could be an odor trapped in your furnace filter. It never hurts to change it out. If that doesn’t resolve the smell, and you still think it is part of your air distribution system, ask your contractor to come out and inspect your ductwork.
If you don’t identify with one of these three conditions, it still doesn’t hurt to change your furnace filter once a month. However, if you don’t think that is necessary, we recommend changing your filter AT LEAST once a season. Make a little note near your thermostat. This way, when you go to change your thermostat settings for a season, you also remember to give your furnace filter a look.
Want more advice on indoor air quality? Give your local heating and air conditioning contractor a call.