If your oil furnace is well maintained, it should last at least 15 years. One way to make the most of your system’s potential life span and efficiency is by keeping up with its care from season to season. Changing your air filter will help you avoid the need for certain repairs, keep your furnace working smoothly and really extend the system’s life overall.
For the average home, air filters should be replaced quarterly. However, it may be helpful—or necessary—to swap your air filter out more frequently than every three months if anyone in your home has allergies or respiratory issues, if you have furry pets or if your system’s manual suggests doing so. With all of that in mind, it’s a good idea to at least check your filter once a month. If you see that it needs to be changed, change it (even if you did so less than three months ago).
Air filter specifics
Here are a few facts you should know about air filters.
- Some are replaceable—others are not. Make sure you know which kind you have. If yours is not replaceable it will need to be washed.
- When you shut off the furnace and handle your filter, be sure to adhere to your manufacturer’s instructions.
- Air filters can be found inside your furnace or return vent.
- If you see that there is a plastic frame around your air filter, you can clean it and use it repeatedly.
Clean air filters: necessary and important
Beware clogged filters! Air needs room to travel through your system and your home. With a clogged filter, the furnace has to work harder to circulate the air. This makes the whole process much less efficient, and your home will simply not be as warm as it could—and should—be. You’ll be paying more on your monthly bills and your air quality will deteriorate.
Watch out for dirty air filters as well—even if they don’t seem clogged. A dirty filter, even if it’s not officially clogged, is less efficient and requires more work out of your system. This extra work leads to unnecessary wear and tear, and ultimately costly repairs that could have been avoided. It could even lead to the need for an upgrade earlier than you had hoped.
Give your furnace—and your wallet—a break with properly maintained air filters.