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It's already October, which means winter is right around the corner. While many of us have already started to use our furnaces to stay warm, there's one household consideration too few of us address before the colder months set in: air quality. Below, let's take a look at some of the signs that tell us it could be time to replace our furnace filter.

Significant Wear & Tear

One of the easiest ways to confirm whether or not your filter is ready for replacement is simply examining it. If you find that your filter is caked with dust and significantly grayed, then it should be replaced. If you remove your filter and there a release (or puff) of air and dust, it means that air from your furnace is even having trouble passing through your filter and a replacement is needed.

Increased Dust and Allergens

Since you've started using your furnace again this season, have you noticed an increase in dust around your home? Have you found that those in your household are suddenly suffering from allergy symptoms, like sneezing, watery eyes, and coughing? It could be because your HVAC system is circulating dirty air—and the lack of an effective filter is likely the reason why.

Occupants Who Affect Air Quality

Do you have pets? Are there smokers in your household? If so, these kinds of occupants have an effect on your air quality and, ultimately, your furnace filter. If you are one of these households, then it is advised that you stay vigilant about the condition of your furnace filter. Check it regularly and be prepared to replace it a few times per season.

Inconsistent Operation

Do you notice that your furnace goes on and off frequently? This can be a sign that the filter is clogged and preventing normal operation. If you notice that furnace isn't running as reliably as it used to, check the filter. You may find that your furnace is struggling to work against a filter that should have been replaced long ago.

Long Periods of Inactivity

It's recommended that your furnace filter be replaced every three months or so. This is easy to forget and many households tend to leave their filters in until they notice there's a real problem. An easy tip to remember is this: when it's time light your furnace and begin using it in the fall and winter, check your filter. Doing this every fall will ensure that you and your family can enjoy clean air quality through the holidays.

Are you having issues with your furnace? Are you not sure what the problem is? If so, our professionals at Donmar Company Heating & Cooling are ready to assist you. For more than 25 years, our skilled northern Virginia HVAC technicians have provided clients with reliable, honest, and cost-effective service.

Call our NATE Certified HVAC technicians at (703) 457-8676 today. Emergency service is available.

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