When to Replace Your Furnace Filter and How to Do It

Homeowners too often neglect furnace filters. It’s unfortunate, since changing a furnace filter regularly not only keeps the air in your home clean, but it also helps keep your system in good working order.

Your HVAC system “recycles” air from your home’s air returns as well as any that comes in from outdoors. Your system’s blower pushes air filled with dust, dirt, allergens, and some germs through the filter, which traps them in its fabric.

Clean air comes out the other side and then moves through the ducts and throughout your home.

Let’s learn more about when to replace your filter and how to do it.

What Does Changing the Filter “Regularly” Mean?

Most sources agree that you need to replace your HVAC filter every 90 days, or more often if you have pets. You also should change the filter more frequently if someone in your household has asthma or severe nasal allergies.

It’s not hard to learn how to how to change furnace filters. Just look for a vertical slot (usually with a cover) that’s around one to two feet high and one to six inches wide. The larger the six, the better you can expect the filter to perform.

How Much Do Furnace Filters Cost?

According to Consumer Reports, filter prices range from $20 to $80 each. The overall annual replacement cost goes from as low as $20 to as high as $200.

A furnace filter’s cost depends on its size, where you buy it, and its MERV rating. Each furnace filter change will set you back a little, but the benefits to your system and your health are worth it.

Where Do I Buy Furnace Filters?

When it’s time for a furnace filter replacement, you have a few options. If you need the filter in a hurry, go to your local home supply store. Most stock standard filter sizes. Don’t forget to write down the size, which you can find outside the old filter.

Please don’t rely on home supply stores for regular replacement, though, since they might be out of stock for the one you need when you need it.

Instead, we recommend subscribing to an online furnace filter supplier. Not only will this ensure you always have a replacement filter available, but it also reminds you when it’s time to change the filter.

What Is MERV?

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (aka MERV) is a rating telling us how well a filter removes dust and other contaminants from the air.

We should point out that a few manufacturers have proprietary rating scales for furnace filters that parallel MERV. So, if you don’t see a MERV rating on the filter you’re buying, ask a salesperson for help.

We’ll Bet It’s Time to Change Your Filter

Knowing when and how to change a furnace filter is essential for any homeowner, at least those who care about their families’ health and don’t want to replace their HVAC system more often than necessary.

Alas, one of the “joys” of owning a home means owning up to the various responsibilities and costs that come with it. Enjoying a temperature-controlled home means staying on top of its maintenance. So, always keep your HVAC unit clean.

If you live in the Destin, FL area and need HVAC or home appliance servicing, we are here to help you.