Self-Care Challenge (Day 249): Changing the Air Filter

Filtrete air filter

On day 249 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I changed my home air filter.

Some acts of self-care are seasonal, and since we perform them so infrequently it can be easy to forget about them unless we schedule them on our calendar.

Simple home maintenance tasks, like changing the batteries in smoke detectors or swapping out air filters, can have a lasting impact on our health. Poor air quality can pose significant health risks that sometimes lead to spendy medical treatments – especially if you happen to suffer from allergies or asthma.

The beginning of fall always triggers a reminder to change our air filters. In fact, it was my self-care activity for the day. For the past few nights we’ve been hearing the furnace kick on, and as temperatures continue to drop, we’ll be hearing that more frequently.

I’ll spare you the photo of the filter we replaced, but suffice it to say that it needed to be replaced.

So, how often should we change air filters anyway?

Opinions vary, but general recommendations (during months of use anyway) range from every 4 to 6 weeks. It depends, of course, on whether you smoke, have pets, or suffer from allergies, but pollutants like pollen, bacteria, household chemicals, smoke, dust (and dust mites), mold, pet hair, and pet dander can accumulate quickly.

And when you consider that the cost of a replacement filter is far less than an office visit copay and a prescription, it’s a no-brainer. Ensuring that the circulating air in your home is clean is a simple, but important self-care task.

When was the last time you changed your air filter?

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