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When Do You Change Your Furnace Filter?


An important part of sustaining the life expectancy of your furnace is maintenance. A clogged filter shortens the life of your furnace because it has to work harder to draw air through the system. This reduces efficiency too. Dirty filters increase the amount of dust you may see on surfaces in your home. The general rule of thumb for replacing your filter is a 1” to 2” filter should be changed monthly, a 3” to 4” should be changed every couple of months and a 5” to 6” filter should be changed every 6 months. This can vary depending on the location of your home. Dust will be heavier during harvest if you live near a cornfield so your filter may become dirty quicker than normal. Living near new construction or having remodeling done in your own home may also shorten the life span of your filter. Here’s a few easy tips.

When you remove the filter from the furnace, take note of the airflow arrow so that you can properly install the new filter. Putting it back in the wrong direction will make the furnace work a little bit harder.

Hold the filter up to the light to determine how much life is left. If a lot of light shows through the filter, you can put it back in for a little while longer. If you don’t see any light, replace the filter immediately.

Never run the furnace without a filter. The dust normally caught by the filter will pass into the furnace and reduce the proficiency of your system. Also it can clog your evaporator coil damaging your AC.

If you have a hard time remembering to change your filter, add it to the schedule of other home maintenance. For example, check your filter when you change the batteries on your smoke alarms or add salt to your water softener.

Spring and Fall are the best times to have maintenance done on your heating and cooling system. We recommend cleaning your AC in the Spring to get it ready to turn on for Summer. Fall is the perfect time to schedule a furnace cleaning in preparation for the Winter.

Maglish Plumbing, Heating & Electric
310 W. US Highway 6 Suite 82
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 764-8200
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