Gagne’s Alpharetta-based heating and cooling experts explain situations where your home’s air filter needs to be changed more frequently.

Hopefully you know that you need to change the air filters in your air conditioner and furnace before you use the equipment each year. When a furnace or air conditioner is in use, the filter should be changed at least every three months. But there are reasons why you should change your air filter even more often, both for better indoor air quality and also to help improve the longevity and efficiency of your furnace.

If any of the below situations pertain to you, you should check and change your air filter more often:

    1. You Have Pets:

Pets are lovely, but they can add a lot of fur, dander and (depending on their outdoor exposure) dirt to our indoor living environments. Even if you have a low or no shedding animal, all animals have dander.

All of these substances can build up quickly in your air filter, meaning that you should change your air filter twice as often. If every six weeks is hard to remember, you could change the air filter every month in conjunction with any monthly flea or heartworm medicines your pet may take.

    1. You Smoke:

If you smoke in your home, you probably already know that you’re adding a lot of tar and other particulates to your indoor environment. You should change your air filter at least once a month.

    1. You Choose an Air Filter with a High MERV Rating:

MERV ratings measure what size particles your air filter can pick up. Higher rated MRV filters, like those that hover in the 9-12 range, are good for those who have pets or allergies, but since they pick up more debris from the air they become clogged more quickly.

When these filters’ fine screens get clogged with dirt, they choke your furnace of air. Your furnace then has to work harder to pull in air to operate. Check and change these filters at least once a month.

    1. Your Home Isn’t Well Sealed:

If your home is drafty, if the windows are old, or if there are any other signs that suggest your home isn’t quite “tight,” you should look to change your air filter more often. That’s because your house is probably bringing in some dirt and pollutants from the outside like allergens, road dust, or drywall particles if you live near a construction sight.

Learn About Easy Energy Upgrades for Older Homes.

Speaking of construction, if you’re doing home renovation projects that involve drywall or sanding, that’s another good reason to change your air filter more frequently.

    1. It’s Cold (or Hot) Outside!

During times of the winter or summer where your air handling system is running for a good portion of the day, everyday, you should look to change your air filter more often.  Since the system is cycling so frequently, it’s picking up more stuff along the way.

Changing your air filter is an easy task to forget. But ignoring your air filter can cause health problems in your home and operating problems for your furnace. Furnaces with dirty filters are far less efficient, which means they cost you more money, and since they have to work harder, their longevity may be reduced.

To learn more about your home’s A/C filter, including how to change it, read 5 Common Questions About Replacing your Home’s Air Filter.

At Gagne Heating and Air, we’re here to help in times when your furnace or AC gives out, with Emergency Repairs. It’s in your best interest though to annually schedule preseason maintenance on your air conditioner and furnace. If you’re in the Alpharetta, Buckhead, Chamblee or surrounding metro-Atlanta area, call us today at (678) 221-4328 for expert heating and cooling assistance.

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