How Long Do Furnace Filters Last? An Expert's Guide

When it comes to furnace filters, it's important to change air filter regularly in order to maintain optimal performance. The frequency of replacement depends on the type of filter you have and the environment in which you live. A one-inch oven filter should be changed every one to three months, while a three- to four-inch filter can last six to nine months. A five- to six-inch coarse-grained filter can last nine to twelve months. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. However, this may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment, so it is important to change air filter as often as necessary. If you have pets in the house, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months.

For households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can usually wait to change filters every 9-12 months. The more you use your home, the more often you need to change the air filter. Three- and four-inch filters can last between six and nine months, while a five- to six-inch filter can give you between nine and 12 months of filter action. This may be shortened in spring when pollen and other air pollutants are more invasive. You can also have one of our HVAC professionals come and inspect your filters, just to make sure.

Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for how often to replace filters. As a general rule, most filters need to be changed every 3 to 6 months. Thicker filters can last longer than thinner filters. Here's a rough estimate of how long one can last, based on its thickness: a one-inch oven filter should be changed every one to three months; a three- to four-inch filter can last six to nine months; and a five- to six-inch coarse-grained filter can last nine to twelve months. During a remodeling project, change the oven filter every 30 days, or even more often, to prevent construction-related dust from circulating around the home. As air moves through a building's HVAC system, air filters trap and pick up large and small particles such as dust, allergens and microorganisms.

A full filter won't stop extra dirt and debris from circulating around your home, causing your family to breathe more dust and allergens on a daily basis. Even if no one in the house is allergic, it is advisable to change the oven filter frequently - as often as every 30 days if you have several pets - to keep the oven running efficiently. All the air that circulates through your HVAC system - whether for heating or cooling your home - will eventually pass through the air filter. The filters are designed to trap dust and airborne particles as air passes through the filter into the oven system. If you answer yes to this question, you'll want to change your filter every 6 weeks to maintain the best indoor air quality. The strongest filters are reusable, usually with metal frames, and can be cleaned according to the manufacturer's instructions.

As a general rule, you'll want to replace your home's pleated air filters and heating filters every 90 days. If your furniture fills with dust soon after cleaning the house, the oven filter could become clogged and no longer effectively remove dust from the air. If you're a pet owner, you'll want to change the air filter every 2 months - especially when winter turns to spring and summer to fall. When you remove the air filter from the air handling unit, if you hold it close to a light source, you can see if the filter is dirty or clogged; if you can't see the light through the filter, it's definitely time to change it.

Nina Siegwarth
Nina Siegwarth

Certified foodaholic. Incurable web specialist. Incurable web advocate. Friendly internet specialist. Evil music aficionado.

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