How Often Should You Change Your AC Air Filters?

The type of air conditioning filter you use in your home can have a major impact on how often you need to replace them. If you're using standard 1- to 3-inch air filters, it's recommended that you change them every 30 to 60 days if you don't suffer from allergies. If you have mild or moderate allergies, it's best to change your filters more often, approximately every three weeks. Generally, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This can vary depending on the location of your home (e.g., dry and dusty climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets at home, it is advisable to change the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for homes with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, it is recommended to change the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or empty houses that are not used much can wait to change the filters every 9 to 12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more often you should change the air filter. Ideally, it is best to change your air filter every three months; however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to replace an old filter. A general rule for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days.

As the filter captures more dirt, dust, and allergens from the air, its efficiency decreases. Next, find out if you should replace the filter more frequently. Air filters trap pet hair, dust, and other irritating particles so that the air conditioning system returns fresh, clean air to your home. The MERV rating is a scale that ranges from 1 to 20 and evaluates how well an air filter can remove particulates from the air. Replacing the air filters in your air conditioning system is an essential practice to ensure that clean air circulates throughout your home. If you have cats or dogs at home, you should change the filter every 2 months.

If someone in your home smokes, replacing the air filter regularly can improve the air quality in the house. Numerous pollutants and debris, including excess dust, can cause air filters to become clogged and reduce air circulation throughout the house. Some manufacturers recommend replacing air filters every 30 to 60 or 90 days, depending on the type of air filter. Although this is a good rule of thumb, you should check your air filter more often to see if it needs to be changed. The manufacturer of an air filter usually explains how often the air filter should be replaced in its installation instructions.

However, if it's impossible to replace the air filter for an extended period of time, spending more than 90 days won't cause irreparable damage to your air conditioning system. For example, a family of four will need to change their air filters more often than a single-person home.

Michael Morton
Michael Morton

Devoted internet maven. Hipster-friendly web practitioner. Avid pop culture nerd. Lifelong music lover. Avid pop culture specialist.

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