furnace exposed with new filter added

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

A very common question we receive is “how often should I change my furnace filter?”

Under normal conditions a filter should typically be changed every 3 months.  This can vary depending on the conditions around your home.   Here are some key contributors that may result in you having to change your furnace filter more frequently:

Having Pets that Shed

Do you have pets such as a dog or cat in the home that shed?  If you have ever taken the time to use a hair collecting brush on your pets, you know how much hair you pull can off of them!  No matter what you do you won’t be able to stop an animal from shedding. If its resting on the furniture or playing with toys, it’s going to be losing hair and dander.  The dander can easily be disturbed and make its way into the air circulating throughout your home.  If you check your filter every three months, it will give you an idea how much hair is getting into the system and you can adjust accordingly from there.

Construction in Your Neighbourhood

Are you in an area of town where there is construction taking place? Perhaps it’s a new high-rise building or just a new house being built on the block.  No matter how big or small it’s going to cause dust levels to increase in your home.  While the vast majority of the dust and debris will stay at the job site, some of it will inevitably pushed into the air and will find its way into your HVAC system.  The particles that make it into your home will be extremely fine and can quickly clog up your furnace filter.

Nearby Highways

Any highway is going to cause dust and fine particles to be thrown into the air which can then travel long distances through the air to make it to your home. The worst time of year for this is right after the snow melts and the roads are still covered in dust and sand, but it does happen all year round.

Environmental factors

Do you happen to live in areas where wildfires are occurring?  How about living in a city with smog and other air pollution?  These play a key factor in how frequently you will need to change your filter.  You should keep a close eye on what’s happening in the environment around you.  For example, if there is a large forest fire in the area you would want to be prepared to change the furnace filter every week.

Ultimately, the easiest way to know if you need a filter change is to check on your filter regularly.  Do not let it be out of sight, out of mind. Set a calendar reminder to help you remember when it is time. Monitoring and making sure you are taking care of your indoor air quality is a key factor in keeping you and your loved ones healthy, and your furnace filter is a huge portion of that.