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How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Keeping your furnace filter clean and replacing it as needed will increase the efficiency of your furnace. This is a guide about "How often should you change your furnace filter?".


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October 11, 2005 Flag

I'm hoping someone can settle a dispute between my husband and I. I really just want him to see it in print, then maybe it'll sink in. How often does everyone change their furnace filter during the winter months? He changes ours twice a year and really honestly believes that it is often enough. I say it should be every month during November to April. What do you think? I'll show him all responses.


Thank you.
Sandy from Pittsburgh, PA

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October 12, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Get the cleanable, reusable kind and hose them off thoroughly once a month. Reuse & recycle whenever possible.

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January 28, 20080 found this helpful
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I know this "question" is fairly old but, I subscribe to Consumer Reports and there was a small article in the Dec/07 addition that had ratings for furnace filters. In "their" ratings, they listed the cheapy filters, do next to nothing for filtering. The reusuable filters, (pricey) clean even less than the cheapies. In their tests, the best cleaning filter is made by 3M. It filters extremely well and doesn't restrict airflow (In their words) I loaned my Dad that magazine, so I'm sorry that I don't know the exact name of that 3M filter. I do remember it was around $12 dollars though and they recommend changing the filter once a month. So it could get quite expensive for that particular filter. I still use the Ace Hardware cheepies though and DO change them monthly! Hope this helps!! Steve, Blair, Nebr

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February 13, 20080 found this helpful
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Did a bunch of research online and monthly is the consensus. I have a HVAC system and I use the Flanders PrecisionAire 14x30x1 filters. A case of 12 covers you for the year and it's $20.00 at Ace Hardware online. Delivered to your door!! That's a small price to pay for cleaner & healthier air in your home, especially if you have kids like me.

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April 18, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

It really depends on the type of filter you are using. Some should be changed once a month while others should be changed once every three months. There are also a variety of air filters out there including: HEPA, Ionic, Carbon and UV Light. For more information, check out this article:

http://www.alls  -air-filter.aspx

Related Content(article continues below)
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January 12, 20150 found this helpful
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Keep in mind: It is a complete myth that when a partially clogged filter begins to slow down the airflow, the fan will "work harder to try to maintain airflow". Fans don't try to maintain airflow. They have no will. In the real world, squirrel cage fans actually work harder when they are moving air freely. If you completely block the airflow, the fan will spin faster because it's easier to just spin the air around in its chamber than to move large quantities of air. It doesn't spin faster because it's "trying harder". There are good reasons to change filters, but saving electrical energy from fan use is simply not one of them.

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May 3, 20080 found this helpful

I do heat & air for a living. I've always been told, change the filter every month.

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

We have aprilaire and we change them every six months. This is a great system and really captures a lot of the dust and dander.

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June 19, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry, but your husband is right if you use regular filters. Read "The Dirt on Furnace Filters" article in the Washington Post by Jeanne Huber from 1/19/06. As long as the filter isn't so clogged that air flow is restricted, the trapped dirt actually helps the filter trap small particles better!

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Anonymous Flag
July 6, 20100 found this helpful

When I bought my furnace, they told me to change the filter every three months. This past February, the furnace wasn't kicking on. I was about to call a service person, then decided to read the trouble-shooting tips on their website. It said to first change the filter. It was at month 2 at that point, but I changed it. The furnace started working right away. From now on, I will change it every 2 months during the winter.

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January 7, 20130 found this helpful

There is really no standard on when to change your filters, as people have different HVAC systems? My filters are the 3M Merv12 size 16x20x4 & it cost $35-40 a pop at Amazon. If you change that monthly, or even bi-monthly, it will cost hundreds of dollars a year. Get real.

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