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Solved! How Often Do You Really Need to Change Your Furnace Filter?


One of the most common questions we get is, “How often should I change a furnace filter?” A quick Google search will likely cause only more confusion as the answer will range from every month to every 3 months.

Generally speaking, you should replace a standard HVAC filter every 3 months. However, this should be more frequent depending on certain factors. Let’s go through some household circumstances that warrant a furnace filter change closer to the 1-2 month mark.

What Does the Furnace Filter Do?

Contributing to the confusion about how often to change the air filter is the fact that many homeowners aren’t aware of its true purpose. Contrary to popular belief, the air filter’s main job is not to keep your home’s indoor air clean–it’s to keep the inside of your HVAC system clean. Although a clean filter will help with air quality, it’s not the main job of the filter.

The HVAC filter is like your car’s engine filter. It’s designed to keep the most important components of the mechanical system free of dirt, dust, and debris. When you don’t change the filter in a timely manner, mechanical issues inevitably arise.

You may be wondering what could be in your home that’s clogging up an air filter. For a car, it’s easy to see how road debris and outdoor pollutants can get in the engine. For your home, it’s things like dust, pet and human dander, and even things like pollen and outdoor contaminants that you bring home.

When to Change the Filter More Often Than 90 Days

You should change the air filter more frequently in these situations.

  • The filter is dirty: This seems like a no-brainer, but put down the calendar and pull out the air filter. Inspect it for dirt and clogs. If it seems very dirty, it’s time to either clean it (for reusable filters) or replace it.
  • You have shedding pets: Does your family of furry friends consist of a single short-haired dog, or several long-haired cats? The more pets you have that shed and that have long fur means you’ll need to replace that filter a lot more often.
  • Household members: How many people are in your household? Do you have a family of two or of six? Do you have frequent guests or in-laws who stay with you? The more people you have living in your home means more bodies and contaminants coming into your home, and you’ll need to replace the filter frequently.
  • Allergy sufferers: If anyone in your household suffers from allergies, you should definitely inspect the filter every month. The air filter helps to keep pollen, mold spores, dander, and other allergens from circulating throughout your home.

We hope this guide has been helpful in providing a definitive answer to how often to change your furnace’s air filter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Call the friendly staff at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for exceptional customer service! Schedule furnace service in Whitehall, PA with our team today.

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