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How Often Should I Replace My Heater’s Air Filter?

A clean air filter next to a dirty air filter to showcase the differences

When the frosty air bites and snow blankets the world, your home’s heating system becomes a huge comfort, allowing you to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa in peace and create memories with your family that don’t involve shivering uncontrollably. However, even the most robust heaters need some care and attention, and one of the most important things you need to consider is replacing its filter. So, how often should you replace your heater’s air filter?

Follow this guide on furnace filter replacement, and your heating system will be sure to run smoothly even on the coldest nights.

Why Does Your Heater Need an Air Filter?

Before we dive into when to replace your heater filter, let’s understand why your heating and cooling system relies on this vital component. The furnace filter serves as a barrier that prevents small particles, like dust, pollen, pet hair, and other contaminants, from circulating through your HVAC system and into the air you breathe. Additionally, it protects the system’s internal components, ensuring they remain clean and in good working condition.

The Impact of Neglect

Neglecting your heater’s air filter can have several adverse effects on your home and heating system:

  • Reduced Efficiency: A clogged filter restricts airflow, making your heater work harder to push warm air into your home. This results in decreased efficiency and higher energy bills.
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality: When the filter is overloaded with contaminants, it can’t capture new particles effectively, leading to poorer indoor air quality. This can exacerbate allergies and respiratory issues in your household.
  • Shortened Heater Lifespan: The added strain on your heating system due to a dirty filter can lead to premature wear and tear, potentially shortening the lifespan of your heater.
  • Uneven Heating: A clogged filter can cause uneven heating in your home, with some rooms being colder than others.

Now that we understand the importance of keeping that air filter clean, let’s address the golden question: how often should you replace it?

Frequency of Replacement

The frequency with which you should replace your heater’s air filter can vary depending on a few key factors:

  • Filter Type: The type of furnace filter you use plays a significant role in determining how often it should be replaced. Standard fiberglass filters and pleated air filters usually need replacement every 30 to 60 days, while high-efficiency filters can last up to 6 to 12 months.
  • MERV Rating: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and indicates the filter’s ability to capture particles. Filters with a higher MERV rating are more efficient at trapping smaller particles and are suitable for households with allergy concerns or pets.
  • Usage: How frequently your heating system is in operation can also impact the filter replacement schedule. If your heater runs constantly during a severe winter, you might need to change the filter more frequently.
  • Allergies and Pets: If you have allergies or pets in your home, you’ll likely need to change the filter more often. Airborne allergens and pet dander can clog the filter faster.
  • Environmental Factors: Living in a dusty environment or near a construction site can also require more frequent filter changes.

In most cases, it’s a good practice to check your air filter at least once a month, especially during the heating season. If it looks dirty or clogged, it’s time for a replacement.

A Service You Can Trust

Keeping your heater’s air filter in top shape is a relatively simple task, but it often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Thankfully, Curtis Total Service is here to assist you in taking care of your heating system and its essential components. Whether you need guidance on a filter replacement, comprehensive gas heating services, or even information on in-depth air duct cleaning in Allentown, PA, our experienced technicians are at your service. Get in touch with us today and rest easy knowing that your home is in capable hands.