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How often should you change your furnace filter?

Maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home often depends on seemingly insignificant details, such as our furnace filter. It's easy to overlook, but the question remains: How frequently should you replace your furnace filter?

Believe it or not, the answer is not one-size-fits-all; it is dependent on a variety of factors, including filter type, air quality, and usage habits.

Time To Change Furnace Filter? We can help!

AtlasCare has years of experience partnering with homeowners in Ontario for all their HVAC needs. If you need the air filter in your furnace changed or cleaned, you can rest assured we’ll get the job done quickly!

The team at AtlasCare is here to help with emergency repairs 24/7/365 days a year! That includes after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no additional cost to you ever!

If you want to learn more about how often you should change your furnace filter in your home, take a look through our comprehensive guide below, where the certified and experienced HVAC team at AtlasCare has answered your most frequently asked questions.

Do you really need to change the furnace filter every 3 months?

To be honest, the 3-month recommendation for changing a furnace filter is a general guideline that is applicable to most disposable furnace filters. However, the actual lifespan of a furnace filter can vary depending on a number of variables. The need to change your filter every three months is determined by your specific circumstances, such as the size of your household, how often you use your furnace, if you have pets and the type of filter you use.

Therefore, the best thing you can do is to check the condition of your air filter on a regular basis. If you begin to notice reduced air circulation coming from your unit, more energy usage, or a visible buildup of debris or dirt on the filter itself, it's most likely time to replace it. 

So, aiming to do a visual inspection every 1 to 2 months is enough to determine whether a filter change is required. At the same time, if your filter is overdue for a change, but the visual signs aren't there, we suggest reaching out to a professional HVAC company in your area that can inspect your filtration system and determine what the best course of action is moving forward. 

How often should you change your furnace filter in the winter?

Winter can cause additional indoor air quality issues in certain parts of the country. Increased usage of furnace systems, for example, combined with decreased fresh air intake, can result in a buildup of irritants and allergens indoors. In such cases, you may need to replace your filter on a more frequent basis than the recommended 1 to 3 months.

Furthermore, if you have shedding pets, keep in mind that dog or cat hair and dander can clog filters at a faster rate. As such, it really depends on your individual circumstances as a homeowner. We suggest continuing to monitor your air filter for any visual signs of buildup that could be impacting your furnace and indoor air quality.

How can I tell if my furnace filter needs changing?

Assessing your filter on a regular basis can help preserve the cleanliness of your indoor air and the efficiency of your heating system. Here are some signs that your heating system's filter needs to be replaced:

·   Visible debris: If you notice a layer of dirt, dust, hair, or other debris on the top layer of the filter, it's time to get rid of it.

·   Diminished airflow: A blockage in the filter can prevent air from flowing freely through your furnace system. A dirty filter is most likely to blame for reduced airflow from your vents.

·   Increasing energy costs: When your furnace system has to operate more diligently to push air through a filter that is clogged, the amount of energy you use will rise. A dirty filter could be the source of a sudden increase in your energy bills.

·   Uneven heating: If some rooms in your home are less comfortable than others, it could be the result of a blocked filter that restricts airflow to certain areas.

·   More allergy or respiratory symptoms: If you or your family members notice an increase in allergy or respiratory problems, it could be due to a dirty filter enabling more pollutants and allergens to travel through the air in your home.

Different filters have varying lifespans, so bear in mind the type of filter you're using as well as how it's being used in your home. If in doubt, check the filter at least once per month and switch it when any of the above signs appear or when it gets to its suggested replacement period.

How long do furnace filters last?

A furnace filter's lifespan will vary depending on variables such as filter type, air quality, usage, and specific situations in your home. Disposable filters typically last 1 to 3 months, whereas washable or reusable filters can last for several years if properly maintained.

As such, if you are unsure whether your filter has reached the end of its service life, we recommend looking at your furnace manual to see if there is any indication that can provide more information. Alternatively, reaching out to a local HVAC company in your area to have a technician come and inspect your equipment is also recommended.

Are you overdue for your furnace air filter change? If so, AtlasCare is available to assist homeowners in Oakville, Mississauga, Milton, Etobicoke, Hamilton & GHA, Toronto & GTA, and Whitchurch-Stouffville! Our team of certified HVAC technicians is available 24/7/365 days a year for all emergency repair tasks! That includes after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no additional cost to you—ever!

Call (647) 692-2978 or use our online booking system to reserve your appointment with AtlasCare today! We look forward to working with you!

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