Your heating and cooling system contains a filter to trap dust and other particles. For maximum performance, the filter needs to be clean. A clogged filter isn’t as effective at catching debris. Also, dirty filters reduce the system’s efficiency. You need to switch out your filter on a regular schedule, preferably during your routine maintenance. How often depends on a few factors, such as what type of filter you use.
How Often to Change a Fiberglass Filter
Many homeowners rely on fiberglass air filters because they are affordable. This style of filter uses thin strands of woven fiberglass to trap particles. You’ll know that you have a fiberglass filter if it’s flat. There are no accordion folds in this style of filter.
Yes, fiberglass filters are often cheaper than other types of filters on the market. However, you may need to change this style more often. In general, you should replace your fiberglass heating and cooling filter once a month.
How Often to Change a Pleated Filter
Another popular type of air and furnace filter is the pleated filter. This style uses an electrostatically charged material to capture debris from your air, and it’s often more effective at doing so than fiberglass filters are. The material is folded into an accordion-style arrangement. You can tell right away when looking at a filter whether it’s the pleated type.
Pleated filters may cost more than their fiberglass counterparts, but they often last longer. Exactly how frequently you need to change them depends on their size. Deeper filters last longer than thinner ones. A 1-inch filter gets changed every one to two months, but a 2-inch filter is good for about three months. You may get four months out of a 3-inch version, six months from a 4-inch variety, and up to a year from an even larger filter.
While you might be tempted to buy the largest filter possible so that it will last as long as possible, it doesn’t work that way. You’ll need to purchase the size that fits your system. If you aren’t sure what you need for your Keller home, consult our Texas Pride Heating & Air technicians.
When to Wash a Reusable Filter
Some heating and cooling systems use reusable filters instead of disposable ones. In that case, you’ll wash your filter instead of replacing it.
How often you need to do this will depend on the model of filter that you’re using. As with pleated filters, thinner ones usually require more frequent cleanings than thicker ones. Consult the manufacturer’s directions to learn the specifications for your particular filter. Of course, you can contact our local heating and cooling technicians for advice as well. In general, though, you may need to plan on washing your filter about once a month.
Although washable filters are reusable, they don’t last forever. Eventually, they’ll no longer come as clean as you need them to be. You may need to replace your washable filter once every five to 10 years.
Reasons to Check Your Furnace Filter More Often
While these general guidelines may give you an idea of how often to care for your air filter, there are exceptions to the rule. Many homeowners need to change their filters more frequently.
For example, you may need to increase your filter changes in any of the following circumstances:
- Large family
- Furry pets in the home
- Outdoor air pollution
- Wildfire smoke exposure
- Family members with environmental allergies
- Whole-home air purifier hooked to your system
You can also expect to change your filter more often at the height of summer and during the coldest part of winter than you do in the spring or the fall.
No matter what style of filter you have, give it a good look at least once a month. You can get a decent feel for whether it needs to be changed based on how it looks. If you hold it up to a light fixture, but little to no light gets through, then it’s time for a change.
For questions about air filters in Keller, turn to Texas Pride Heating & Air. In fact, you can count on us for all of your heating and cooling needs, including repairs, maintenance and installations. Our additional services include ventilation, insulation and indoor air quality. In business since 2019, we have the expertise to handle both residential and commercial jobs.
Book your appointment with Texas Pride Heating & Air in Keller today!