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How often should I clean my furnace filters?

Updated: 3 days ago

One major key to good health is the intake of healthy things–healthy food, clean water, healthy supplements, and last but not least, healthy air. According to the CDC, indoor air can actually be more polluted and more unhealthy than the air outside. Now more than ever, it’s very important to keep your filters clean for both your air conditioner and your furnace.

dirty furnace filter
Dirty furnace filter

Why is it important to change the filters?

Filters see a lot of action, especially in homes prone to dust or homes with pets. Filtering dust, dirt, mold spores, and more, these filters capture lots of nasty particles and should be changed every two or three depending on your usage levels and your environment. Some environments prompt the need to at least check the filter every 30 days to make sure that everything is working nicely. Some environmental factors that would require this can include:

  • Homes with pets

  • Older homes prone to dust

  • New builds (sawdust!)

  • Homes near beaches or deserts (sand!)

If any of the above bullets apply to your home, it is wise to check on the filter at least once a month, especially during the colder months when the furnace is in heavier use. Likewise, it’s important to maintain clean and intact filters for respiratory health, especially if you or a family member:

  • Have asthma

  • Suffers from COPD

  • Has heavy allergies

Clean and undamaged air filters can make a huge difference not only in the quality of the air, but in the quality of life for those who may be more sensitive to pollutants in the air.

Not maintaining the air filters in your furnace can result in higher utility bills and reduced air quality. These filters are designed to trap dust, soot, and other allergens that can make the air a very real sore spot for more sensitive respiratory systems.

How often should my furnace air filters be changed?

How often you clean your furnace filter depends on the type of filter used and how dirty it is. Most filters can run you about 90 days before they should be changed. Filters that have been exposed to a lot of soot may need changing more frequently than those with little or no soot build-up. If you live in an area where there is a lot of pollution, such as smoke from fires or heavy industry, sand from beaches or desserts, or heavy allergens, your air cleaner should be checked regularly by an expert to make sure that it's working properly and getting rid of all the dirt and dust in the air.

As outlined above, there are a few factors that can play into the ideal timeline for changing the filter in your furnace. If you find that the environment you live in tends to be more polluted, it’s wise to change the filter every month to every six weeks to keep everything running smoothly. If you don’t live somewhere where your system is pulling in lots of pollutants and you find that the filter isn’t so beat up, shooting for every 3 months is a great place to start.

How do I change or clean the furnace filter?

Changing a furnace filter can be pretty light work and doesn’t require a professional’s touch:

  1. Make sure that the furnace has been completely switched off.

  2. Remove the older filter from the return vent, and take note of its positioning so that it’s easier to put the new one in later.

  3. Put the new one into the return vent in the same position. (often, the filters will have arrows on the edges to point you in the right direction if you’re not sure of the correct orientation)

Have a permanent furnace filter that you need to clean? Here’s how:

  1. Make sure the furnace has been completely switched off.

  2. Remove the older filter from the return vent.

  3. Using a vacuum or shop vac, gently vacuum off all the dust and debris before wiping it down with a damp cloth.

  4. Dry the filter well before replacing it back into its position.

Call us

Need maintenance on your existing furnace or heating system? Interested in a new furnace,? Need an estimate, an installation, or simply a point in the right direction? Get in contact with one of our certified technicians today! Don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at



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