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Does Your Furnace Filter Need To Be Replaced?

There is no specific timeline for replacing your furnace filter (also known as an air filter). However, there are a few approaches to guide you on what to look out for regarding furnace filter replacement. As activities of every home differ, that’s how the functioning of the HVAC system differs.

Also, the amount and type of dirt in the HVAC system of people’s homes usually vary. This can determine the efficiency of their air filters. A general rule to replace furnace filters is to change 5-inch filters once a year, 4-inch filters twice a year, and 1 to 2-inch filters 3-4 times a year.

What are the Signs that Your Furnace Filters Need to be Replaced?

  • The furnace filter is dirty, and the filter material is visibly covered with dirt, dust, and debris.
  • You are getting poor indoor air quality as your home gets more dust than usual.
  • Your HVAC system is constantly running.
  • The furnace unit is emitting a burning smell.

An experienced furnace repair Winnipeg contractor can inspect your heating system and determine whether you need to replace the furnace filters.

Replacing your Furnace filter

Regular replacement of furnace filters can help to minimize air contaminants and improve your indoor air quality. A furnace filter helps to circulate air between your outdoor and indoor unit. As it functions, it traps dust, dirt, pet dander, and other debris. Over time the trapped dirt clogs the filters, thereby blocking the amount of air that’s meant to pass through.

Having a furnace filter that’s clogged with dirt means you get to breathe dust and allergens regularly; this can trigger some health conditions, especially if you have a family member with asthma. Additionally, your HVAC system loses efficiency as it will have to work harder to heat your home.

Factors Affecting the Efficiency of Your Furnace Filter

Having Furry Pets

Furry pets bring out fur occasionally, which can clog your air filter. If you have pets, you’ll need to replace your filter every 1-2 months, 4-inch filters every four months, and 5-inch filters every six months. Having multiple furry pets means you’ll need to change your filter more often; 1-2 inch filter every month, 4-Inch filter every two months, and 5-inch filter in three months. You can reduce pet dander if you have shedders by taking your pet outside and brushing out the hair.

Opening Doors and Windows Often

When your doors and windows are opened, air contaminants and dust can get into the house and clog your air filters. If you open your doors and windows very often, you’ll need to replace your air filters more often.


Smoking reduces the efficiency of your air filter. If you have multiple smokers, you’ll need to change your filters; 1-2 inches (once a month), 4-inch filters (every two months), and 5inch filters (every three months).


Having improved indoor air quality is vital, especially if any of your family members have allergies. Changing your air filters regularly can help maintain your indoor air quality and enable the HVAC system to work efficiently.


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