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The number one job of your furnace filter is to keep all of the dust, dirt and other stuff the return duct brings in from damaging the blower fan. While in operation, listen to the sound of air moving through your furnace. If you remove the filter and there is a significant release of air pressure, this means the build up of dust and dirt has reduced the effectiveness of the filter. It should be replaced.
A dirty filter also means the furnace motor and possibly other parts need to work harder and might have to be replaced sooner than expected. Examine your furnace filter carefully for buildup of dirt, dust and other contaminants to prevent premature replacement of the motor and other moving parts. This could save you money on new furnace parts or replacing the unit entirely.
Answering the question 'How do I know if my furnace filter needs to be replaced' is also achieved by monitoring the environment around a home. A poorly working furnace filter will leave clues around the home that it needs to be replaced. Keep an eye on the amount of dust and dirt building up in the environment around your building or home over a specific period. If you notice an increase in the amount of dust and dirt on furniture and other household items change the filter.
If you have a lot of dust, debris or pets replacing your furnace filter every month or 4-6 weeks is suggested by many professionals in the furnace service industry. This solution means you don't have to worry about answering the question 'How do I know if my furnace filter needs to be replaced'.
For larger buildings replacing your furnace filter on a regular schedule makes sense, especially if you have renters or children you need to protect. Many professionals suggest replacing furnace filters every three months with larger buildings, but this will vary from building to building. It will also be easier to monitor the month-to-month air quality and any changes which could affect the health of people living within on a regular schedule.
The solutions above should help you answer the question 'How do I know if my furnace filter needs to be replaced'. Using the answers provided you'll know the signs and symptoms to look for indicating it's time to replace your furnace filter. You, family and guests can also sleep soundly knowing your furnace and filter are working to keep you all safe and breathing cleaner air.