Should You Change Your Air Filter Monthly in Winter?

You’ve probably been told that keeping a clean filter in your HVAC system helps avert restricted airflow, but you may not know if you need to change your air filter every month throughout the winter. The Department of Energy’s Energy Star program recommends evaluating the filter monthly and replacing it if there’s any accumulation of debris, or every three months at a minimum. This frequency for filter changes is certainly worthwhile, because it offers a number of benefits, like:


Longer Component Lifespan


When you keep a clean filter in your HVAC system, it can helps prevent any unnecessary strain on the various system components. As your equipment gets older, that added strain can cause a premature failure, so preventing it can let you put off a costly new equipment purchase longer.


Lower Utility Bills


Another costly consequence of ignoring filter changes is that it forces the HVAC system to work harder to compensate for the resulting airflow restrictions. This causes a decline in the equipment’s efficiency, and an increase in its energy consumption and your utility bills. If you maintain a clean filter, you can slash your heating and cooling energy usage and potentially cut five to fifteen percent off your monthly operating costs.


Assured Air Quality


If you have an air cleaner unit on your HVAC system to boost air quality in your home, making routine filter inspections and changes are even more vital. These types of filters typically have higher minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV), so they can quickly cause a serious airflow restriction if they get clogged.


Fewer Breakdowns Requiring Repairs


When the air filter isn’t replaced often enough and gets coated with debris, those particles can get into your HVAC system and collect on its sensitive components, which increases the likelihood of equipment breakdowns. Just by changing the filter routinely throughout the winter, you can help avoid any inconvenience or discomfort, and the cost of making preventable repairs.

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