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Make sure to change furnace air filters on a regular basis. This easy task promotes peak heater performance and pays for itself through superior energy efficiency and system reliability. Too often filter changes are forgotten by homeowners for months at a time, resulting in higher monthly bills and needless repairs. As a general rule, it’s recommended that you replace air filters every thirty days for less expensive fiberglass filters. High-end pleated models can sometimes last up to six months.

How Often To Change a Furnace Filter

There’s no specific rule to how often you should change the furnace filter. Every household is different. It depends on how often you run the furnace, the amount of dust, dirt, pet dander, and allergens in the air, the square footage of the home, and the size and type of filter. Keep in mind, the longer the filter is neglected, the more clogged the filter, and the less efficient and effective the heating system.

Here are some reasons to replace the furnace filter:

  • If anyone in the home suffers from allergies or asthma, filter changes every six weeks maintains superior air quality.
  • If there are pets in the house, it’s recommended to replace the air filter every two months.
  • When there are young children in the home, keep filter changes no further than two to three months apart.
  • Visibly dirty filters should be replaced right away.
  • More frequent and extended furnace running times indicate air filter concerns.
  • An increase in airborne dust is a warning sign of a clogged filter.
  • If you notice a burning odor or strange smells near the heating system, inspect the filter.


Keep in mind that the air used to heat your home, the air your family breathes, passes through the furnace filter. Check your filter every month. Hold it up to a light source, and if you can’t see the light through the filter, it’s time for a replacement. Dirty, clogged filters lead to problems such as:

  • Extended furnace running time increases energy usage
  • Increased chance of damage to equipment and malfunction
  • Restricted air flow diminishes household comfort
  • Greater impact on the environment
  • Higher monthly costs
  • Components wear out more quickly
  • Shortened system life
  • Contaminants are introduced into the home
  • Pollutants build up in the ductwork

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