On average, you should be checking and changing your HVAC system’s filter at least every 90 days or approximately every three months to keep your furnace operating at optimal efficiency. But in some cases, it may be better to change it sooner or later than that. Every home has different energy and heat consumption rates. Regardless, it’s important to remember to replace or change out a portable air filter for your home on a regular basis to keep your system running smoothly at all times.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Air Filter
When Is the Right Time to Replace the Air Filtration System in Your Home?
How can you tell if your home’s air filtration system needs to be replaced? There are a few obvious signs that indicate it may be time to check the condition of the air filter inside your furnace. Here is a list of things you should look for.
A Thick Layer of Dirt and Dust
Furnaces are usually installed in dark and dusty corners of people’s basements, so it’s perfectly natural for them to collect some dust. But if your entire furnace filter is covered in a thick layer of dirt and dust, then this means it’s time to replace it with a new one.
All that dirt and dust clogs up your filter and prevents your heating and cooling system from working efficiently. Plus, the dirt and dust can also make their way into your home’s ductwork and cause serious internal damage to your HVAC system.
As a result, your heating and cooling systems will have to work a lot harder to function at a normal capacity, which means they’ll use up more energy. This will inevitably cause your energy bills to go up as well. Save yourself a lot of time and money by simply checking your air filters for your home in Toronto on a regular basis. Set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget.
Allergies and Asthma Acting Up
The filter inside your HVAC system is designed to filter our harmful airborne particulates, dust, and allergens that can make it hard to breathe inside your own home. It’s especially important to regularly replace your filter if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. A clogged HVAC filter can only make these problems worse. If you find yourself constantly sneezing or congested inside your own home more than when you’re outside, then this is a clear indication of an old and dirty air filter.
Damaged ductwork can also allow more dust, dirt, and allergens to make their way into your home’s HVAC system. This will cause the filter to clog up faster, which means you’ll have to replace it more often. If you notice that your air filter needs to be replaced suspiciously frequently, then contact an HVAC professional to inspect your ductwork for damages.
Unusual Odours Lingering in Your Home
Mouldy and musty odours that linger inside your home no matter how long you leave the windows open to air it out are a clear indication of an old or ineffectual air filter. This is a common problem in older homes with poor ventilation or water damages. Long-standing water damages can lead to mould and mildew buildup throughout your home. Mould and mildew have a distinct and permanent musty odour that’s caused by continual bacterial growth.
If you have pets such as dogs or cats, you’ll need to replace your air filters even more frequently than homeowners without pets. Dogs and cats tend to shed the majority of their winter fur during the summer. This excess fur and dander can clog up your air filter a lot faster, causing it to release an unpleasant mouldy and musty odour that doesn’t go away until the filter is replaced. Contaminant-laden air will continue to circulate throughout your home and can cause potentially serious respiratory issues for you and your loved ones. Changing out the air filters on a regular basis can significantly reduce the number of airborne contaminants and allergens in your home.
Your HVAC System Keeps Stalling
A clogged or dirty air filter can also cause your HVAC system to stall at the most inopportune times. This is especially common in the spring and summer months when the air is rife with significantly more contaminants than during the winter. Airborne pollen, dust, pet dander, etc. can all clog up your home’s air filtration system and reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.
If you notice that your HVAC system keeps inexplicably stalling in the early morning and evening when the temperatures are cooler than during peak daylight hours, then this could be a clear sign that your air filter needs to be changed. Blockages in the unit can cause airflow problems, which trap the cold air inside instead of releasing it into your home. This forces your air conditioning unit to work a lot harder to push the air through the vents and into your home.
Decrease in Your Home’s Humidity Level
When the humidity levels in your home noticeably drop, it could be time to replace your air filter. Your HVAC unit uses the air filter to pull in ambient air from outside. As the air passes through the filter, it traps in moisture to balance out the humidity and dryness levels in your home. If too much moisture is filtered out of the air, then you’ll notice a significant drop in humidity levels. This dries out the air in your home, which can make for uncomfortable living conditions.
Electricity Bill Increases for No Reason
If you notice a sudden increase in your electricity bill without your rates going up or any changes to your household consumption, then it may be time to replace your air filter. A clogged air filter forces your HVAC system to work harder to function normally. This increases your furnace’s energy output and also impacts every other energy-using appliance in your home.