With your furnace running all the time to combat the winter chill in the air, you’re likely changing out your furnace filters faster than usual. Since every household is different, there’s no established rule for when you should change out your filter. The best routine for you depends on the animals in the house, filter size, and your allergies. When determining the best filter type and replacement schedule for your home, keep this essential information in mind.
Always consider the MERV rating of all new furnace filters you purchase. This rating determines how much dust and air particulates will be caught in the filter. The scale ranges from one to 20, with the highest ratings often reserved for hospitals and other completely sterile environments. The best rating for your home likely falls between 4 and 12.
Your furnace may have come with a recommended range based on manufacturer guidelines. The air quality in your home will benefit from higher ratings to ensure the majority of contaminants are safely being removed from the air. Higher MERV ratings often cost more but will keep your home cleaner and safer for your household.
Your family’s allergies play a huge role in choosing the right filters. Choosing cheap filters or forgetting to change them on time will result in poor air quality. More dust will be visible around the home and on shelves and tables. Those living in the house will likely experience higher rates of sneezing, coughing, and general discomfort.
If you live with immunocompromised family members, higher MERV ratings are essential to their health and well-being. Better air quality throughout the home protects your children, pets, and older loved ones from airborne illnesses.
Thinner filters up to 2 inches should be replaced at least every three months. Medium filters between 3 and 4 inches can be changed out every six months. Large, durable filters that can be upwards of five inches have more surface area to collect contaminants and can be replaced every year. These are rough estimates that don’t take into account the unique circumstances in your home.
Always buy a filter that fits snugly in place. You may occasionally grab a filter from a nearby store when you need one only to find it’s slightly too small. The wrong filter can let a lot of contaminants into the system, causing dust clogs and system overloads. Bulk order your furnace filters from trusted suppliers, so you’re always prepared when it’s time to switch them out.
Number of Pets
Pet hair and dander can quickly build up around the home, collecting on furniture and vent covers. Your number of animals also dramatically affects the efficiency and lifespan of your furnace filters. Most professionals recommend against using thin filters when you have more than one animal. Even two-inch filters will need to be switched out about every month with one to two animals in the home.
Invest in thicker filters that last longer and keep pet hair and dander out of the air. Family members with pet sensitivities will also benefit from stronger filters that keep the home from being overrun with animal hair and skin flakes.
Your budget dictates how much you’re able to spend on furnace filters each year. You don’t have to tolerate poor air quality because durable filters seem out of reach. Plan your filter usage out during the year and find bulk solutions online. Many suppliers have discounted prices if you set up a subscription.
You can also contact your local heating and cooling company to get advice on the best options in your price range. Finding the best filters for your furnace protects your family and your HVAC system from accruing expensive damages in the future.
Best HVAC and Plumbing Team
For more than 100 years, Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing has been servicing residents in American Fork, UT, and surrounding areas. We’re a large team of experienced professionals dedicated to maintaining and improving your home’s heating and cooling system. Trust us to offer a wide range of services, from furnace and boiler repairs to indoor air quality checks and ductwork cleanings. We can also detect and repair water leaks, fix your toilets and faucets, and clean your drains. Keep your home running smoothly by trusting Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing with all your service needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment or access our 24/7 emergency service.