The primary function of the furnace filter is to trap elements from the air so that they do not come through the heating and air conditioning system and into the air we breathe. The problem lies in the reality that the filter keeps these particles from coming through, accumulating in the furnace filter itself.

You should change your filter seasonally; however, it depends on the filter’s thickness and density. A denser filter will need to be changed more frequently because it catches more particles of stuff, whereas a more open weave filter lets more through so it will last longer. The caveat to this is that thinner is not better.

The filter with more density costs more and lasts shorter periods, making your furnace perform much better in the long run. So go for the denser filter, and if you want to know five ways to prolong the life of your furnace filter, you have come to the right place.

Five Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Furnace Filter

There are some interesting ways you may not have even thought of that can help prolong the life of your furnace filter. If you want to limit the number of times you change out the filter, the following suggestions may be helpful:

Lemon Furniture Polish

This idea may seem like an out-there suggestion, but it is said to work. Once a month, use a whisk brush to brush out your filter. Spray your filter with lemon furniture polish. The lemon is said to eat up dust mites, and you must remember to spray both sides. Your allergies might be reduced after this.

Brush Your Pet More

Another interesting solution is to brush your pet more, especially if you have a cat or dog with lots of hair. It will keep the hair from getting into the filter and clogging it up. It will decrease the hair in the air. Also, make sure that you vacuum out the hair in your registers and returns, as they often become clogged.

Dust and Vacuum the Furnace

Vacuum the furnace burners and the base. You should also:

  • Vacuum back burners by taping a 20-inch length of a half-inch drain line to your vacuum hose.
  • Vacuum everywhere dust is present and the vacuum blower compartment
  • Vacuum and brush the blower blades
  • Clean the blower blades with a vacuum and a small brush

If you cannot clean the blower thoroughly, do not clean it at all, as you could throw it off balance. Do not disturb the wiring or counterweights on the fan blades as you are cleaning.

Choose the Right Furnace Filter

To prolong the life of your furnace filter, choose the right furnace filter in the first place. Purchase one that requires less changing. A cheap fiberglass filter will keep the dust and debris to a minimum and filter out debris that could damage your furnace’s blower motor. It is a matter of remembering to replace it every month.

There are a couple of other, possibly more advantageous options: purchase a low-priced pleated filter, which only needs changing every three months. However, if someone in your family smokes or has asthma, try a high-efficiency electrostatic filter. Some of these filters can last up to a year. These filters can secure smaller particles for more extended periods without affecting the furnace’s airflow.

Choose the Right Vacuum

Choosing the right vacuum will help, as specific sizes and types last longer. If you want your vacuum to successfully suck up all the dust and debris from the furnace filter, you must choose the right vacuum.

The Black and Decker Dust Buster and Advanced Clean Cordless Handheld Vacuum are ideal for cleaning out the furnace filter. It gets into those hard-to-reach places. Also, make sure to clean the vacuum regularly.

What Else Do I Need to Know About the Furnace Filter?

You may want to consider a few significant points regarding your furnace filter. Taking care of your furnace filter is all part of regular maintenance. There are some key variables you will need to be able to keep your furnace filter going strong:

  • Wash or vacuum the filter once a month
  • Many filters have a minimum efficiency value rating
  • The higher the MERV rating number, the more effective your filter will be
  • Spun filters have a MERV ranking of four
  • Basic pleated filters have a MERV rating of six
  • Electrostatic pleated filters have a MERV rating of eight
  • The highest quality filters have a MERV rating of twelve
  • Some filters have a MERV rating above thirteen
  • The MERV filter scale can go all the way up to twenty

The higher the MERV rating, the longer your filter will last. You can connect an air filter gauge to measure the flow between the filter and the furnace.


There are several ways you can add to the life of your furnace filter. Homeowners should check their filters each month to investigate their condition and see if a replacement or cleaning is necessary.


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