Change Your Furnace Filters Regularly for Air Quality
January 10th, 2016 by THS
Here’s a general guideline on how often to change your furnace filters. Again, this will depend on the type you have so be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Add an alert to your phone or jot it down on the calendar whenever you make a change so you always know when you’re due.
• One-inch thick filters: one to three months
• Two-inch thick: two to four months
• Four-inch thick and higher: three to six months
That said, most filters should be changed between two and three months of use. You should move up that rotation to one to two months if you have pets, smoke, or reside in a heavily congested area. Also, more frequent filter changes can be beneficial if you have someone living in the home who suffers from allergies or asthma.
Signs You Need to Change Your Filter
Check out these red flags that should signal you to switch out the furnace filter:
• There’s no air flowing out of the unit
• It takes a long time — longer than usual — to get the temperature within the house up in cold weather. This is an indication the filter is blocked thanks to dirt and dust.
• The filter looks dirty to the naked eye. To make this assessment, take out the filter and hold it up to a light source. If light is getting through or it’s light gray, it can probably go for another month. If it’s dark gray with no light penetration and noticeable accumulations of heavy dust, replace it.
Dangers of Failing to Change Filters
The health of the home’s occupants can be at risk if you don’t change the furnace filters regularly. Leaving it past its recommended change-by date can render it useless, as it won’t be able to let dirt and dust pass through. Why even have a filter at that point if it’s not doing its job? This can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms because all that dust gets into the carpet, beds and furniture.
The energy efficiency and performance level of the unit will decrease and you’ll spend more on heating because the unit has to work harder than usual just to achieve the desired comfort level. Regularly changing filters means you won’t spend as much on repairs and maintenance, leading to a longer life span for the unit.
Other Ways to Improve Air Quality
In addition to regular filter changes, there are other ways to boost your home’s air quality. Check them out:
• Put plants in the house, such as aloe, spider plants, Gerber daisies, Golden pothos, chrysanthemums, weeping figs, azaleas, and English ivy, says Mother Nature Network.
• Vacuum and dust every week to keep dust mites, pollen, mold and pet dander at bay.
• Don’t smoke indoors.
• Keep the humidity level between 30 and 50 percent.
• Clean hardwood and tile floors with microfiber mops.
Call Thornton Heating Service for more advice and tips or to learn about our current HVAC specials. We can be reached 24/7 at 847-905-1608.