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Changing your furnace filter regularly has a great impact on your health. Indoor air is polluted with contaminants — as much as five times more polluted than the air you breathe outdoors. The right furnace filter works to prevent contaminants from reaching your living areas and promotes effective airflow throughout your HVAC system and your home.

A high-efficiency filter that is rated MERV 8 or above has the power to trap airborne contaminants before they travel through your system and back into to your living areas. This keeps your home clean and clear of particulates that can aggravate asthma and allergies, and worsen respiratory illnesses or colds. Furnace filters rated MERV 13 and above help remove illness-causing germs, viruses, and bacteria from your home, keeping everyone healthier.

Over time, the trapped contaminants build up on the filter, restricting airflow and the filter’s ability to remove new pollutants from your indoor air.

It is recommended that you change your filter according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, though depending on the conditions of your home as well as the outdoor air quality, you may find it necessary to do so more frequently. Standard 1-inch filters need to be changed every 1 to 3 months, while high-efficiency filters should be changed approximately every 6 to 9 months.