Filters on your furnace, when to change them?

by Gilbert Migirditsian, professional engineer, home inspector, and founder of GM Inspection

Did you know that the filters on your furnace actually works better when it is dirty? That being said, this is one situation where better is, well, not better. A dirty air filter on your furnace will reduce the longevity of your central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit and increase your energy costs as the central system will need to work harder to compensate the greater resistance on the filter. Furthermore, a dirty air filter will usually exacerbate the symptoms of any sensitive people with allergies within your dwelling and spread the problem of excess dust in your ductwork thus causing further cleaning to be required at a certain point. Now how often should the filter be changed? All depends on the filter actually, a one inch dust filter usually needs to be changed every month while a three inch pleated filter will most probably be good for two to three months. So take advantage of the change of seasons to change your filter and breathe a bit easier.

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