Ever feel like you are changing out your air filters all the time? Most homeowners will agree that replacing air filters is a recurring job. But, how soon should you perform furnace filter replacement? The simple rule of thumb is to replace them as soon as they get dirty. The kind of filter you use also plays a role in how often you need to change your furnace filter. Read on to know more about why your furnace filter tends to get dirty and when is the right time to call in for furnace repair service.

How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?

The higher the MERV rating on your air filter, the more often you’ll need to swap it out for new ones. If you think you are changing out your filters way too often, you should consider buying filters with a different MERV rating. Every furnace filter has a MERV rating. This rating refers to how much air contaminants the filter can catch. The higher the number it is, the fewer contaminants can pass through it.

Need a Quick Lesson in Choosing Air Filters?

Fiberglass: Fiberglass filters are designed from spun fiberglass and are typically an inch thick. These filters need to be replaced around once a month.

Pleated: Pleated filters are made from either paper or polyester. They can have a varied thickness of anything between 1-6 inches. These filters last longer and need to be replaced only once every 3-6 months.

Electrostatic: If you do not enjoy replacing filters, electrostatic filters may be a good option for you. These filters do not need to be replaced as they are washable. The contaminants get trapped between oppositely charged materials. All you need to do is vacuum your filter or wash it once a month.

HEPA: These filters are rising in popularity. They can capture most contaminants in the air and need to be replaced only once every 12-18 months.

Why You May Be Replacing Your Furnace Filter More Often?

There are numerous reasons why your furnace filter gets clogged and dirty. Listed below are a few noteworthy reasons:

Leaving the Thermostat Fan ON

If you haven’t noticed yet, there are usually three modes in which you can set your AC fan: OFF, ON, and AUTO.

When the fan is switched to ON, it will run all day and night. This means the air in your home will circulate through your furnace filter 24/7. This means it will pick up contaminants and dirt much faster. Turning your fan to AUTO will make your fan go on and off as needed, and thereby, collect less dirt.

What to do: Set the fan setting based on your priorities and situation.

If you suffer from allergies or have family members with asthma in your house, you may benefit from using a HEPA filter. Turn the setting to ON so that more air contaminants are filtered. Doing this will also improve air quality.

If nobody in your family suffers from any allergies, you could use the AUTO setting. This setting will use less energy and also prevents indoor humidity. What does this translate to? Well, this means you will need to change out your furnace filter less frequently.

You Have Pets At Home

Whether you have pets at home, or you socialize a lot and have many guests often, you are likely to have more contaminants floating in your house. This will also make your filter get dirty faster. Pets such as dogs and cats introduce dirt, dander, and hair into the air which can clog your filter over time.

What to do: If you own many pets or a lot of guests visit you often, you may consider investing in a whole-home air filtration unit. These advanced units pick up contaminants left behind by not just guests but also your pets and have a longer lifespan.

You Have Leaky Air Ducts

A leak in your air duct can introduce dirt and dust into your living room from areas such as your attic. The more dirt a leaky duct brings in, the more dirt will accumulate in your filters. The unfortunate truth is that you are wasting several hundred dollars every month on energy bills if you have leaky air ducts. According to experts, a house can lose as much as 30% of conditioned air due to leaky ducts.

What to do: Leaky ducts do not have an easy fix. If you suspect you have a leaky duct, you may need to call a reliable furnace repair service. An HVAC service provider will be able to either repair the leaky duct or replace your duct system to keep your utility bills low and prevent you from replacing your furnace filter too often.

You Are Using a Traditional Pleated Furnace Filter

If you are using the outdated one-inch pleated filters, you are likely to swap your furnace filters every month. These pleated filters tend to catch more air-borne contaminants and tend to get dirty sooner. You could think of these filters as a fine fishing net with small gaps that can catch anything from small to big fish and tend to fill up faster.

What to do: If you’d rather not deal with replacing filters every month, you could switch to disposable fiberglass filters or pleated filters that are thicker.

You Do Not Dust Your House

Not everybody enjoys cleaning. However, not cleaning and dusting your house on a regular basis can force your air conditioning system to work harder. When this happens, your air filter will get dirty and will need replacement sooner.

What to do: This is a no-brainer. Dust and vacuum your house more often to bring down the dust levels in your house. You should also vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly. This will reduce the load on your filter, and keep you and your family healthy.

If you are looking for a reliable furnace repair service to perform routine maintenance on your unit, American AC Heat Plumbing is the name you can trust. Call us today at 1-800-321-9494 to schedule an appointment.


James Smith

As you can tell from our humble beginnings in 1981, we began as a family-owned business and stayed a locally owned air conditioning and heating company in Los Angeles county for nearly 40 years.