As we start to approach mid 2023, now is the perfect time to start thinking about taking care of your home’s furnace and making sure it continues to run smoothly throughout the rest of the year. One important part of that process is knowing when and how often you should change your furnace filter.
In this blog post, we will discuss why changing your furnace filter regularly is so important and provide some guidelines on how often you should be doing it according to the latest HVAC systems suggestions in 2023. Get ready for some expert advice that will leave you with a cozy and efficient home all winter long. Let's dive in!
How Furnace Filters Work
To get started, let's briefly talk about how furnace filters work. Furnace filters work by trapping airborne particles and contaminants as they pass through the filter.
As air passes through the filter, the particles are trapped on the surface of the filter media. Over time, the filter will become clogged with particles and will need to be replaced. The frequency with which you need to replace your furnace filter will depend on the type of filter you have and the level of contamination in your home.
Why Change Your Filter?
If your furnace filter is dirty, it can restrict the airflow to your furnace, which can make your furnace work harder than it needs to. A clean furnace filter will help your furnace run more efficiently and save you money on your energy bills. According to energy.gov, you can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15% by simply replacing dirty or clogged filters.
In addition, a dirty filter can contribute to poor indoor air quality and cause issues like asthma and allergies. Replacing your furnace filter regularly will help keep the air in your home cleaner and healthier for you and your family.
How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filters in 2023
Now that you understand why changing your furnace filter is important, you may be wondering how often it should be done. Much like your dirty air vents, you need to change out your furnace filters regularly too. The exact answer to this question will depend on the type of filter you have and the level of contamination in your home though. The most recommended and general replacement time for changing out your filters in 2023 is every 90 days. However, this is very general advice and there is much more to consider.
We recommend consulting with a professional HVAC technician for advice on which type of filter works best for your home and how often it should be replaced. Generally speaking, most manufacturers suggest changing your filters 1-12 months. Which is a huge gap and that's because there are many different contributing factors as to when you should be changing them out.
One of the biggest factors is the thickness of your filers.
In general, based on the thickness of your filers, you should change them:
- 1- to 2-inch filters - 1 to 3 months
- 3- to 4-inch filters - 6 to 9 months
- 5- to 6-inch filters - 9 to 12 months
Other things that contribute to how often you should change your filters include:
- The type of system you have
- The amount of dust and dirt in your home
- If this your main home or vacation home
- If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma
- Do you have pets and how often do they shed
It's a good idea to check your filter every 30 days. This is the best way to find out when you need to change or clean out your HVAC filter.
Does Summer Versus Winter Matter?
The short answer is yes, the season can affect how often you should change your furnace filter. During the summer months when your air conditioner is running more frequently, which is where the 90 days is usually recommended. This will help ensure that your air conditioner is running efficiently and not overworking itself by having a clogged filter.
It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines and it’s always best to consult with a professional HVAC technician who can inspect your system and give you the best advice on how often to replace your filters.
Signs That Indicate You Need to Change Your Furnace Filter
If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to change your furnace filter:
1. Your furnace is working harder than usual. If you notice your furnace is running more frequently or for longer periods of time than normal, this could be a sign that your filter is clogged and needs to be changed.
2. Your energy bills are increasing. If you notice a sudden spike in your energy bill, it could be due to your furnace working harder to heat your home because of a dirty filter.
3. You can see dirt or dust buildup on your furniture or floors. If you start to notice an increase in dust around your home, it could be coming from your furnace and indicates that your filter needs to be changed.
4. There is less airflow from your vents than usual. If you feel like the air coming out of your vents isn’t as strong as it used to be, or if there are fewer vents blowing out air than before, check your filter and consider changing it if it looks dirty.
How to Change Your Filter
If your furnace filter needs changing, the process is pretty simple. Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Locate your filter. It should be somewhere near your furnace, either in a slot on the side or in a housing unit attached to the furnace itself. It's best to find your units manually and follow it to find the filter.
Step 2: Once you've found the filter, take note of its size and orientation so you can get an identical replacement. A good idea is to take a couple of pictures with your phone first or even a recording.
Step 3: Remove the old filter by sliding it out of its housing or simply unscrewing it, depending on the type of filter you have.
Step 4: Insert the new filter into the housing, making sure that it's oriented correctly (usually with the arrow pointing up). Again, depending on the type of filter you have, this may involve sliding it into place or screwing it in.
Step 5: Once the new filter is in place, close up any access panels and turn on your furnace to test things out.
If you're not sure about handling this or don't have the time, you can also contact your local HVAC company and they'll be able to come out and perform the job for you. In addition to that, many HVAC companies such as us here at Thomas Service Company, offer local customers monthly HVAC maintenance plans. In these plans, we'll perform monthly checkups and ensure everything is working properly (including changing your furnace filters).
Different Types of Filters
There are several different types of filters for HVAC systems. So depending on your unit, your filters could vary.
The different types of furnace filters include:
- Pleated air filters
- Fiberglass air filters
- High-Efficiency Air Filters
- High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters
For Pleated and Fiberglass Air Filters, they're much cheaper options for homeowners. However, that comes at a different cost. As these filters will only 10-45% of pollutants. Making them not very efficient or good for a home looking for quality air.
The High-Efficeiency Air Filters on the other hand are much better. These come with a MERV rating of 14-16. Which allows them to remove around 85% of pollutants from the air.
Last, but not least, we have the High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters. These come with a MERV rating between 17-20. They will remove 98% of air pollutants from your home making them the best and healthiest option for homeowners.
Changing Furnace Filters in 2023
We hope this article has helped you understand how often to change furnace filters in 2023. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your furnace is working at the highest level of efficiency and that your home’s air quality is always up to par.
Remember, routine maintenance of your HVAC system can save you both time and money down the line and ultimately improve the comfort level in your home. Do not hesitate to contact a HVAC professional if you have any questions or concerns about changing furnace filters or general HVAC maintenance.