1. Do you own a pet?
2. Does someone in your household smoke?
3. Does someone in your household suffer from severe allergies?
4. Is your home a busy place or quiet with only one or two people?
Some of these questions are more obvious than others, so we’ll explain why the answers to all of them matter.
Do You Own a Pet?
If the answer is yes, then the next question would be: How much does it shed? It isn’t hard to figure out why this would matter. If you have a loving Labrador who leaves hair everywhere they visit, then it is likely that hair is traveling through the air and may end up on your furnace filter. Not everyone has the time to sweep up the dog or cat hair every single day. Having a pet that sheds even minimally, can increase the number of times you need to change the filter on your furnace each year.
Does Someone in Your Household Smoke?
Again, this is not a hard question to figure out. If someone is smoking in your house, then be certain your filter is pulling double duty with regards to cleaning the air. As all air travels through the filter, the fibers in the filter catch the smoke and other particles, holding them back and returning clean air to the home. Because of the smoke, your filter will clog or become dirtier more quickly. This will, in turn, increase the need for changing the filter more often.
Does Someone in Your Household Suffer From Severe Allergies?
If the answer is yes, then changing your filter more often will be a requirement. Additional options include purchasing a higher quality filter that has a heavier fiber content which cleans the air more thoroughly. Getting rid of the dust and dirt in the air is important to allergy sufferers. The cleaner the air, the easier it is to breathe.
Is Your Home a Busy Place or Quiet With Only one or two People?
This might be the oddest question of all for some people. However, when we move about in our house, this literally stirs up the dust. In fact, most of the dust in the air is there due to movement or activity in the home. Because of this, it makes sense that more active homes may have more dust in the air due to the constant activity. A quieter home is more likely to have less dust because there is not as much commotion causing it to stir up.
Your answers to the above questions will affect how often your furnace filter needs changed every year. However, it is best for all of us to set reminders to check it at least every few months. If you answered yes to more than one of the questions, and your house is a busy household, you are better off checking your filter each month. When you check the filter, simply look at how dirty it is. If you notice a lot of dirt, then change it. If you cannot see any dirt, then you are fine. Always keep an extra filter on hand so that you can change it as needed instead of waiting to remember to pick up another one from the store.
The quality of your filter may also have an effect on how often it should be changed. A higher quality filter will clean the air more thoroughly, even getting bacteria in some cases. Because of this, they may need changing more often. Simply set regular reminders based on the characteristics of your home, and always have an extra filter on hand.