How Important Is Filter Replacement to Your Home’s Heating System?

If you ask a lot of furnace services Denver experts, they will tell you that filter replacement for even a newer HVAC is just as important as in the case of older models. Unless you have a futuristic heating system that no longer uses air filters, you have to consider replacing your air filter on a regular basis, depending on how much your HVAC is in use and what its physical dimensions are.

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A good rule of thumb is to change larger filters more often and smaller ones less frequently. However, there is so much more to understand about these filters and how they might be linked to many other factors and considerations that most people don’t even think about.

Important Considerations

Most of the time, you’ll hear that the best time to replace your filter is when it’s about 90 days old. That means for three months you can generally relax, as your filter should be able to perform just right. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it works. While the average time for filter replacement is somewhere around 60-90 days, there are a few very important things to consider before choosing that period:

  • How dirty is the filter? If you live in a dry area with a lot of dust, it makes sense that the air filter will be pretty dirty after as little as a month or two of use, in which case you might want to check on it even sooner and think about replacing it around that time.
  • You or someone in your family might have an allergy, or you might have pets or small children around. In such cases, your filter should be replaced about once every 30 to 60 days to ensure that the air quality inside your home is up to par.
  • If your heating system is running more than usual – such as, for example, when it’s very cold or your furnace is old and needs more time to heat your home properly – then it’s also important to check the filter and replace it if necessary.
  • You might notice some strange odors, especially near the HVAC system while it’s working. In many cases that’s a sign that the hot air has encountered some kind of debris or obstruction which will typically be located on the filter – or that the filter itself is damaged or affected by mold, after not having been changed for a while.
  • Finally, inspecting your HVAC and finding a dirty filter is always cause for concern and should warrant replacing the filter immediately, even if it’s relatively new. If that is the case, then make sure you consult with your HVAC experts to find out why the filter was affected so quickly and what are some ways that you can correct the issue.

Frequency of Change Based on Size

Filters come in different materials and sizes, and as you might expect, that will also weigh in when it comes to deciding on when to replace them. Cheaper fiberglass filters should generally be replaced after 30 days, while more advanced, pleated filters can last for 60 to 90 days.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to size is to have smaller filters (1-2 inches) replaced at least once every three months, while larger ones can last even longer. The limit for 4-inch filters should be around 6 months, and 5-inch filters should be able to last for 9-12 months under the most favorable circumstances.