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When Should I Replace My HVAC Filter?

Your HVAC filter replacement schedule will depend on the amount of system run time, pets in the house, and the type of filter you have — some filters are disposable and need to be replaced every month, while others are washable and can last you a lifetime. Dirty filters can potentially damage other parts of your HVAC system, so don’t wait too long to replace them.

Signs Your Filter’s Finished

If you haven’t put a reminder in your calendar, that’s no problem. Watch for these signs that it’s time to replace your filters:

  • Your filter is visibly dirty

  • You’re running your heating and cooling systems frequently

  • Your home has more dust than normal

  • You notice unusual smells coming from your HVAC system

When you can’t see the filter material through the dirt and dust, it’s a clear sign you need to replace it, but keep an eye on the dust and dirt that’s accumulating in your space, too. Dirty filters tend to leave their mark in a number of places, and in several ways.

What Happens if I Don’t Replace My Filter?

Seeing how long your filters can last without replacing them isn’t a game you’ll want to play. Not only will you suffer with poor indoor air quality, your system could also face a series of consequences, like:

  • Damage to the HVAC system and equipment

  • Less airflow in your HVAC system, leaving your fans to work harder and wear out sooner

  • Your filter can’t catch particulates effectively and will instead release contaminated air into your home

  • Your duct work can become overwhelmed with particulate matter

  • Your energy bills will rise because your dirty filters are making your HVAC system work harder and harder to keep up

Since a dirty air filter can be a much bigger issue than it seems on the surface, make it a point to check in periodically. Changing your filters regularly can keep you healthier (and wealthier) today and in the months and years ahead.

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