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When Should I Replace My HVAC Filter?

You should replace your HVAC filter before it’s clogged with dirt and seems to be affecting airflow. 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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