The primary function of an air filter is to trap airborne contaminants and keep them out of your heating system. Due to its role, the air filter is bound to clog up with dirt and contaminants, and for you to continue enjoying your appliance, you have to change the air filter.
While most homeowners know they should change their air filters, most don’t know the right time to do so, so you will hear them asking the best time to change the air filter.
If you are one of these homeowners, here is how to tell if a furnace filter needs changing:
The filter is dirty
According to furnace service providers, a tell-tale sign that it’s time to change your air filter is the filter being dirty. To trap the contaminants, they have to stick to the filter media, and when you go for a long time without cleaning the filters, they are bound to get dirty.
You need to look at them to tell whether it’s time to clean the filters. Are they grey and dirty? It’s definitely time to change them.
Decline in air quality
Although the air filter is designed to protect the delicate heating system from damage from the accumulation of dust and debris, it has a significant impact on the air quality in the house.
As the air filter removes dirt, dust, pollen, and pet dander, it cleans the air getting into the house.
When you go for a long time without cleaning or changing the air filter, the air filter is ineffective at getting rid of the dirt and dust, and they all get into the house, reducing the air quality.
If you have noticed that the air quality in your house has gone down either due to high dust content in the air or any other reason, it’s time to replace the air filter.
Your energy bill has shot through the roof.
Although this isn’t a definitive sign that your air filter is ready for replacement, you should definitely think about inspecting and changing it if your energy bills have gone up.
This is because a dirty filter blocks the system from receiving the airflow it needs to function efficiently, forcing it to consume more energy as it attempts to draw air through the obstacle.
When your furnace operates in this state for a long time, it costs you more as there is also a high risk of the HVAC unit overheating due to lack of air movement, which wastes more of your energy.
Your home is dustier.
When dirty, the air filter can’t pull the contaminants from the home’s air supply, and these particles freely circulate through the HVAC system and back into the living areas. With time, the airborne particles fall out of the air and settle on the surfaces throughout the house, creating noticeable dust.
If you have been seriously cleaning your house, but after some time, it gets dirty, your air filters might be dirty, and it’s time to replace them.
How often should you replace your air filters?
How often you do the replacement depends on the type of filters you have in your home. To help you out, here is a guide on when to change the various air filters:
For 1-2 inch filters, replace them every 1-3 months
Replace 3-4 inch filters every 6 – 9 months
And for 5-6 inch filers, replace them every 9-12 months
How do you avoid forgetting to replace the air filters?
Since changing the air filters is vital, you should do all you can to replace them at the right time. A good way to remember that your unit needs air filter replacement is to install it in an area where you can easily see it.
It’s always easy to forget a filter change when the HVAC unit is tucked away out of sight so place it in an area where you can see it.
Furnace repair service Long Island providers also recommend that you make it a monthly routine to inspect your air filters and assess their condition. If your unit is completely covered in contaminants, it’s time to replace it.