How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter? A Comprehensive Guide

Air filters are an essential part of any home's air conditioning system, trapping pet hair, dust, and other particles to keep the air clean and fresh. But how often should you change your air filter? It depends on the type of filter you have and the environment in your home. Pleated air filters should be replaced every 30-60 days, while air filters with two folds should be changed every 3 months. A 3-fold air filter should be changed every 120 days, and a 4-fold air filter should be changed every 6 months.

Fiberglass air filters are more affordable, but less efficient at capturing dust and particles from the air. They usually need to be changed every 30 days or less, with an average use of 20 to 45 days. When it comes to pet owners, the air conditioning equipment (including trap filters, air filters, oven filters, etc.) should be changed more often. Different types of ovens or air conditioning filters have different specifications for when they should be replaced.

Fiberglass filters have a lower price, but need to be changed more often (usually every 30 days). Pleated air filters are more expensive than fiberglass filters, but can last 3 to 6 months depending on several factors. It is recommended that landlords or tenants change filters every 60 days for one pet and every 20 to 45 days for several pets. Many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be changed, making their system vulnerable to damage.

If you're installing the air filter in a vacation home, cabin, or other property that isn't commonly used, you can usually wait a little longer to replace the filter. The only way to be sure how often your air filter should be changed is to visually inspect the filter every month. If an occupant smokes, replacing the air filter frequently can increase air quality in the home. Wait up to three months to change a fiberglass air filter and nine to 12 months before changing a pleated air filter.

If you've never changed an air filter, you might not notice these common signs that it needs to be changed: dust buildup on the filter; reduced airflow; and higher energy bills due to inefficient operation of the system. A typical manufacturer recommends replacing air filters every 30 to 90 days; however, this depends on the life of the filter and other environmental factors in the home. In smaller homes, the air conditioning system has to move less air, which may mean that air filters are replaced less frequently.

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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