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How to know when to change your furnace filter?

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  • #675087

    When the seasons change it’s a good idea to go through you home maintenance checklist. One of the items many people may forget is to make sure the air you’re breathing inside is clean of pollutants such a mold, smoke and dust. You can know if there is a need for furnace-filter change by detecting the exact conditions of it. But even without looking at your filter you can know if it needs to be changed using a furnace filter whistle. What is a furnace filter whistle? It’s a small device that can be placed into your home’s air filter that will make a low and not too annoying whistle sound when the filter is 50% blocked.
    Why change your furnace filters?

    • Performances and capability of HVAC-system can be boosted-up with on-time furnace-filter changing.
    • Energy-efficiency can be enjoyed throughout the year, preserving energy and lowering the cost of monthly utility bills.
    • You and your family members, especially seniors, kids, and pets can breathe safely and openly without concern that the air indoors could lead to long-term illness.
    • Air-quality indoors can be improved. This improvement will bring fresh air-circulation to your home.

    Signs indicating immediate furnace-filter replacement

    • Minimized air-flow: If your HVAC-system is taking longer hours for cooling or heating then something is definitely wrong with the furnace-filter. Dirty-filters are responsible for minimized air-flow and these filters can be well-tackled only by means of changing.
    • The increase of dust: Are you finding your house dirtier these days? Well, this happens only when the furnace-filters get clogged or stuck with heavy dust-loads. These loads have disabled the filters to extract dust from the air the result of which dust is getting circulated continuously within the room-air only. This can have a negative impact on your health according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Dust is getting settled over floors, mats, carpets window-blinds, upholsteries, chairs, tables and other items making the whole ambiance dirty, unhygienic and suffocating.
    • Increased energy bills: Are your energy bills going up day by day? Well, then the time has come when you should get your furnace filter checked thoroughly. HVAC-systems productivity and efficiency are hampered because of clogged filters. These clogged filters need to be treated to maintain your HVAC system in good health. Changing air filters has been found as one of the greatest solutions in this respect. Regular changing of air filters is a great move for preventing increased energy.

    • Slow functioning: Is your furnace not following the normal cooling or heating cycle? Well, this is a great sign, which demands an immediate furnace filter replacement. In most of the cases, this happens just because of acute filter damage due to increased dust-loads. This is why furnace-filter cleaning on a regular note is very much important.
    • High-pitched noises: Sometimes, you might hear sharp noises coming from your furnace filter. You should not neglect this issue as your furnace might get severely damaged in future if the concerned issue is not being resolved immediately. Blocked air often creates these sounds and also interrupts airflow to a great extent. This serious condition can be treated only with filter change only but that, of course, depends upon the current filter condition.
    • Burning smell: Overheating of the furnace blower motor from a usually creates a burning smell and this smell not only leads to acute suffocation but also destroys the whole furnace filter. In fact, furnace filters get severely damaged due to overheating and thus changing the damaged one is very much needed to restore furnace functions. Therefore, you should always operate the furnace in accordance with the manual instructions provided by the manufacturer. This overheating first affects the working of safety switches and then makes the whole filter become damaged slowly.
    • Grey-colored filter: Sometimes, the filter color changes to grey. This grey color usually occurs due to the continuous accumulation or storage of dust or dirt within filter media.

    Why you might need to change your furnace filters

    • If you have multiple pets at your house then pet hairs will definitely get scattered and be in the home’s air.
    • Homes with smoking inside often create an issue where furnace filters may need to be changed more regularly. This is the reason you are always recommended to maintain great ventilation at home such as opening windows during the day if weather permits. There are many homeowners who love smoking indoors but this will result in the filter needing to work through a large volume of smoke. In this case, a filter replacement is needed after every 3 months or sooner.
    • If construction or revamping task is going on currently at your home then the accumulated dust may create significantly more work for the HVAC system. Filters need to be changed frequently. Many homeowners install specialized filter covers before the initiation of construction task so that unwanted replacement can be easily avoided.
    • If you live in a major city or area where the outdoor air is not clean, then keeping windows open will then allow dust or dirt from outdoors to enter your home. In this case, the furnace will extract more and more dust for making the air purified inside but while doing that furnace will get overloaded with dust. However, note that often, the air indoors is more polluted than the air outside according to the EPA.

    What all of the above comes down to is that your home’s environment should be monitored and observed well. If you think that the environment is becoming dustier and unhealthier then you should immediately make the decision to change your HVAC air filter. Make sure to get the right size as there are dozens . The perfect process of changing a furnace filter is usually not complicated or complex and so when the seasons change is a great time to take care of this relatively easy home maintenance.

    #675090
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    I usually change my filter every 6 months or so

    #675115
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    I change once a month or so.

    On the advice of my HVAC guy, I use the cheap woven fabric filters. According to him, the expensive filters that claim to grab every particle of dust just restrict air flow and place undue stress on the fan motor causing premature failure.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #675121
    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    This is great info. As a first time house buyer in Oct of 2016. I have not changed my furnace filter. According to this post I am way past due as I didn’t know.

    Thanks for the post.

    #675124

    I buy the filters from the supplier we use at the plant,
    Mine are 20×25 and 5 inch thick,
    I buy the 20×25 4 inch thick, a box of 6 costs me around 60 dollars, I usually change them around 3 to 4 months
    They are only merv 8 but for the price, I figured that you can’t go wrong.

    Also some thermostats can be programmed to remind you with a notice on the thermostat to replace the filter.

    #675125
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    This is great info. As a first time house buyer in Oct of 2016. I have not changed my furnace filter. According to this post I am way past due as I didn’t know.

    Thanks for the post.

    I think a lot of people just forget to change the filters. I’m always surprised with how much of an improvement it makes when I switch to a new clean filter.

    #675132
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    so when the seasons change is a great time to take care of this relatively easy home maintenance.

    This is extremely misleading. The frequency by which you should change your furnace filter depends on much more than the seasons…..

    Take a look at the responses directly above mine and you’ll see that the frequency is all over the map. If you have a 1″ filter (regardless of the type or size), you should be changing it much more often than the wider 4″ type.

    Learn your home and your system. Pull the filter out on a regular basis and Learn how often it needs to be changed based upon that. If you can see ANY build up on the filter, toss it and install a new one.

    Think of it this way: when you pull the lint trap on your drier, what do you do? You scrape the lint off and put it back in place. When the filter is compromised, it will quickly start effecting the system. For a few dollars and a few minutes of “work”, it is definitely worth the effort.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #675135
    JimDaddyO
    Pro
    Wawa, ON

    My furnace filter has got to be about 3 years old. My furnace only runs once a year for about 2 minutes when I jack the thermostat up just to make sure it still runs. The rest is nice radiant wood heat from the wood stove. Dust? I live in farm country, we have a little plaque that says “Dust is just county accent”, around these parts it’s just part of life. I guess we are the exception to the rule.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #675138
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    We have an AIR Bear filter set up on our furnace so I change it about 2 times a year. When I had the standard filters, I tried to change them about every month or so. It is not really about the dust in the house as to why you need to change them but more to keep the coils and heat exchanger in the furnace clean.

    During the cooling season I have seen the coils of a furnace turn to a block of ice due to a dirty filter and the reduced airflow over the coils that is caused by it.

    On a new construction or remodel we use our Build Clean and also change the furnace filters every 2 to 3 days. We typically run an open return to the filter so it is and easy clean out and we do not contaminate all the return air duct work with dust.

    #675139

    My thermostat nags me every 3 months to change them, I usually lag by a month or so …

    Will

    #675143
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Guilty! I’m overdue big time right now. This is the reminder I needed……I hope!

    #675243
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    @jponto07 ??? Is this Spam????

    #675272
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    @jponto07 ??? Is this Spam????

    It may be spam, but OP has started a thread with some worthwhile discussions. Furnace filters are a much overlooked maintenance item in most homes.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #675278
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    @jponto07 ??? Is this Spam????

    It may be spam, but OP has started a thread with some worthwhile discussions. Furnace filters are a much overlooked maintenance item in most homes.

    It is probably spam, but it’s useful to the actual members nonetheless.

    I’ve removed the links….carry on.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #675295
    Doobie
    Moderator

    @jponto07 ??? Is this Spam????

    It may be spam, but OP has started a thread with some worthwhile discussions. Furnace filters are a much overlooked maintenance item in most homes.

    It is probably spam, but it’s useful to the actual members nonetheless.

    I’ve removed the links….carry on.

    I went and searched the profipe picture used by the member and only found it tied to an anti circumsion activist/educator.

    https://www.google.ca/search?tbs=sbi:AMhZZiu1ReRWTpsLufIRXS9mZ6Csn8BM8cMuWUR0VoTLS7YNnFnLbUuANHG9WegIw5Q-8T7Q-nKxtxUFU7yMla-iam_1usNAumppA16k1W4B9vma6z0CPO0oD3L9sYayT0t9xNYKGfcVAbgcpu54oke9oTtVBnISpWLEAz9VrkU_1W2b1H7uvtq8nwI5J0wvRPnLnpHLb1kwDb4uZp5V3rNmAcy-rCYslQswbeuTwZfxWqvWgwZ-Ol4O6Yl-uv1BwFh7jrWjNxIU1c9xbeWFryrEbWKrxN_1bFQZj87o4udkaJBZAdz42TFtmC8pmCrhVL6ViFVeggr1y4S6k3JaKsMb5lQHR_1j9QuD8Q

    Seems odd, but no evidence of being a spammer based on that alone.

    Nonetheless, useful discusion enough for me.

    #675306
    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    This is great info. As a first time house buyer in Oct of 2016. I have not changed my furnace filter. According to this post I am way past due as I didn’t know.

    Thanks for the post.

    I think a lot of people just forget to change the filters. I’m always surprised with how much of an improvement it makes when I switch to a new clean filter.

    We have noticed how dusty it’s been in our house and this could be a reason why. I will be looking at mine soon and probably change it no matter what.

    #675373
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Furnace filters are a much overlooked maintenance item in most homes.

    I have never seen one or used one,,

    #676228
    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I just checked our filter last night and MY GOD it’s dirty. I will be replacing it very very soon. Will post pics of the difference from mine to the new one. That filter is HUGE too.

    #676244
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    I just checked our filter last night and MY GOD it’s dirty. I will be replacing it very very soon. Will post pics of the difference from mine to the new one. That filter is HUGE too.

    You will notice a big difference in your furnace performance. Your home will heat faster and more evenly (and cool in the summer, too) with the new filter.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #676251
    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    I just checked our filter last night and MY GOD it’s dirty. I will be replacing it very very soon. Will post pics of the difference from mine to the new one. That filter is HUGE too.

    You will notice a big difference in your furnace performance. Your home will heat faster and more evenly (and cool in the summer, too) with the new filter.

    I hope so. It’s in dire need of changing. Like I said in another post it’s been pretty dusty so I hope this makes a difference.

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