Own an oil-burning furnace? Many don’t realize that, just like their fireplace chimney, their oil-burning furnace flues need to be cleaned out annually, too!
Another assumption is that your oil service company is the one to tackle this task and that they’ll get it done when they service your appliance. Unfortunately, this is also not the norm. In fact, many claim the chimney looks good without even completing a proper inspection.
Changing the air filter in your furnace system isn’t a job that’s difficult (or even expensive) to do. Unfortunately, it’s a task that homeowners tend to neglect or forget about. Because filters are typically tucked away and rarely seen, many find themselves going much longer than recommended without switching them out.
So, how often should they be replaced? An online search typically reveals a range of answers, ranging from about one month to three months. If your replacement schedule falls somewhere in this time frame, then good job! You’re not likely to experience many problems.
Yet, if it’s been a lot longer since you’ve replaced your filter, that’s a different story. Wanting to know exactly where your filter falls in this one- to-three-month time frame? Well, there’s never going to be a perfect answer as to the perfect day to change out your filter, but considering certain factors about your household can give you a better estimate. Learn more below.
Factors to Consider
There are lots of reasons your filter may get dirtier quicker than your friend’s or neighbor’s. We invite you to consider the following when establishing a replacement timeline:
- Do you have pets? Pet hair and dander, along with the dirt and debris they tend to track in from the outdoors, can build up in your vents and air filter, making your air a lot more harmful to breathe in.
- Do you live in a bigger city? Bigger cities are known for having more air pollution which will then have an impact on the purity of your indoor air. The same goes for areas with more construction – the more that’s occurring, the worse your air will be.
- Do you have a lot of people living in your home? The bigger the household, the dirtier your air will get – and more quickly, too.
- Does anyone in your home have allergies or asthma? Considering the health of loved ones is a must when it comes to your air filter change-out schedule. Those with respiratory issues or who are more at risk for illness (such as infants or the elderly) will be more sensitive to polluted air.
- What’s the quality of your air filter? The design, size, and brand of your filter will make more of an impact than you think when it comes to air quality. It’s typically worth spending a bit more, especially if you can get more use out of it!
- Do you live in the home all year? If you’re wondering about the air quality of a vacation home, then this is one instance where changing your filters every few months isn’t so imperative. If no one is currently in the residence, changing the filter two or three times per year is acceptable.
In the end, we advise taking a look at your filter at various points in time to see how much buildup is actually occurring. If after a month it still looks like there’s some life left in it, then it’s fine to hold out. That said, if you pull it out to find it caked with dust and debris, then you’ll know your household needs a replacement on the more frequent side of things.
Dangers of Dirty Air
Dirty air inside your home can have some serious effects on the health of those living within it. This is especially true for those already experiencing asthma or other types of respiratory issues. Unfortunately, because most people spend a majority of time indoors, avoiding indoor air pollutants is one of those things that’s often easier said than done.
Issues people are known to experience can range from a minor cough or cold to asthma attacks and difficulty breathing. Needless to say, it’s not something you want to take a risk with! If you notice the following issues in people in your home, taking a looking at your filters is strongly advised: sore throat, sneezing, coughing, mild fever, headaches, congestion, watery eyes, eczema, rashes, worsening allergies, or similar symptoms.
In the end, the stress and strain of managing a sick household can be wearing on both those feeling unwell and those trying to look after them. If the solution is as simple as changing your air filter and better examining your indoor air quality, why not take it?
What Else Does Dirty Air Impact?
The health and wellbeing of those living in the home is always high on the priority list, but that’s not all to worry about when it comes to contaminated air. For instance, poor air quality can also cause a spike in your energy bills! Basically, the worse things are, the harder your HVAC system has to work to keep your home heated or cooled. This means it’s running for longer periods of time, which in the end ups your monthly energy payments.
Along with this, an HVAC system experiencing more strain will break down sooner than expected. This means you’ll be forced to invest in repairs, replacement parts, or even an entirely new system much sooner than anticipated.
Need Some Professional Guidance?
If you’re still uncertain where you stand in terms of filter replacement or if you aren’t sure what type of filter would be best suited for your home, then call on our team for guidance! Along with assessing your air filter needs, we can look into air purifiers, humidifiers/dehumidifiers, sanitation methods, mechanical ventilation, and more.
Don’t put it off any longer. You deserve to breathe the cleanest air possible, and the team at Airbusters Heating & Cooling Service would love to help. Call or reach us online today!