Do You Need to Change Your Air Filter Monthly in Winter?

Do You Need to Change Your Air Filter Monthly in Winter?

Man cleaning air ducts in home.

In most American climates, winter is the time when HVAC filters need to be inspected and replaced most frequently.

This is because, as furnaces and heat pumps are operating constantly to stay ahead of the cold, that much more air is circulating through the filter, leaving behind ample dust and debris to coat the filter. This isn’t the case in the southern half of Florida, where heating systems have a relatively easy time making it through our mild winters.

Yet, it’s still wise (and simple), no matter where you live, to inspect monthly and change your air filter when it gets clogged.

A forced-air heating or cooling system relies on the air filter to fulfill several functions:

  1. Keep sensitive furnace or A/C components from getting coated with dust. This increases friction on working parts, reducing efficiency and effectiveness. Well-oiled, clean HVAC machinery uses less energy and provides more effective heating and cooling than dirty equipment.
  2. A dirty filter will restrict airflow through the heating or cooling system. This forces the HVAC equipment to work harder and longer to push air through the filter and then circulate throughout your home. It results in wasted energy, stress on parts, and rooms that don’t heat or cool sufficiently.
  3. With the exception of the cheapest flat-panel filters, a fresh HVAC filter will do a better job of cleaning indoor air than one that’s clogged with dust. This especially benefits households with occupants who are susceptible to allergies and respiratory issues.

The question of how often to change your air filter is closely tied to how often the furnace, A/C or heat pump is operating. During high-uses seasons (summer in Florida / winter in Michigan, for example), the HVAC system is operating nearly 24/7. As a result, the filter will need to be inspected and changed more frequently. In any climate, it’s better to err on the side of too much air filter maintenance than too little.

For more tips on the benefits of the HVAC filter in your Palm Beach County home, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about changing air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658. 

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