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How Often Should I Change My Filter?

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How often do you need to change the air filter

Today I am going to answer a question that comes up frequently on service calls I make. Usually, upon entering a house the first thing I ask is, “can you please show me where the furnace is…the air conditioner…the thermostat…and the air filter…?” Believe it or not, some people do not know where their air filter is. Sometimes this is because they just bought the house or just don’t know the filter is supposed to be changed. The single most important thing a homeowner can do to protect their heating and air conditioning system is to change or clean their filters when they are not perfectly white, or new anymore.

The most important thing you can do to protect your investment is to change your pleated filter every time it’s not perfectly white or anymore.  This usually is less than the recommendation of 90 days that it says on your filter, but rather about every month or two.

Air filters are usually located at the furnace in the garage or closet. If you don’t see your furnace in the garage or closet, chances are it’s located in the attic or under the house. In that case, the filter grille may be in the ceiling or low on the wall in the hallway. Either way, if you haven’t located your filter and are not aware of the components that make up your HVAC system, call Fox Family Heating and Air to come out to help you become familiar with it.  Your system is a major investment in your house or rental property and if left unmaintained, you may have some high repair bills in the near future.

So, a minute ago, you heard me say change or clean your filter every time it’s not perfectly white anymore. “But I have a 90-day filter!” you say. A lot of advice is out there on when is the right time to change the filter. Here in California and Sacramento Valley, the vast majority of homes have their filters located in the ceiling. As a homeowner, just looking up into the grille area where the filter is every week allows you the perfect chance to see what condition your filter is in. If it’s not as white as was when you first bought it, it’s time to change it. During the higher use seasons like winter and summer, this could be as often as once a month. Some houses can go for three months without getting their filter even slightly dirty. It’s just the nature of your house. Taller ceilings, cleaner houses, less dust being kicked up, hardwood floors vs. carpeted houses all influence the life of your filter.

I know it’s because I am an HVAC technician, but as I walk past my filter in the hallway, I’m always checking to see how clean it is.

You don’t want to be breathing that brown stuff on your filter right? Change that filter!

A clean filter is going to lead to better air to breathe for you and your family. You don’t want to be breathing that brown stuff that is stuck on your filter do you? Wash your permanent or lifetime washable filter or replace your fiberglass or paper filter often. Get the cheap filters too! I’m not interested in paying some big company ten or twenty bucks for one filter. We are just trying to stop the bigger particles of dust and debris from getting to our blower motor and evaporator coil so they don’t get clogged up and cause higher repair bills. I go to the local big-box store and buy a couple of three packs of filters for about $7.00 each. That’s $14.00 for all the filters I’m going to need for the year. If you have the filters on-hand and in the house or garage, you’re much more likely to change them out more frequently.

I recommend changing your filter every time it gets to the point where it’s not the same white color as when you bought it. This means during the busier seasons like winter and summer it’s going to be every month or two, and you may go four months without it getting dirty at all during the nicer seasons like spring and fall. So change your filters, save yourself some money by buying the cheaper filters, and have extras on hand for the entire year. This will save you repair costs down the road by not allowing the dust and dirt to get on your blower assembly and evaporator coil which can shut your system down.

Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning services the majority of the Sacramento Valley including Heating and Air Conditioning, HVAC or AC Service for Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Davis, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, Antelope, Arden Arcade, Auburn, Cameron Park, Carmichael, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Elverta, Fair Oaks, Florin, Foothill Farms, Foresthill, Georgetown, Gold River, Granite Bay, La Riviera, North Highlands, Orangevale, Parkway, South Sacramento, Pollock Pines, Rancho Murieta, Rio Linda, Rosemont, Shingle Springs, Vineyard, Wilton, Penryn, Loomis, Newcastle, Auburn Lake Trails, Garden Valley, Coloma, Plymouth, Amador City, Sutter Creek, Ione, West Sacramento. Call or text 916-877-1577 for more information.

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