How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?
Changing the air filters in your HVAC equipment is part of maintaining the health of your system. This essential part of heating and cooling care goes a long way in ensuring your system remains clean, efficient, and capable of handling your comfort needs. Understanding how often you should change your air filter is a great first step in sticking to a clear HVAC maintenance schedule.
Read on to find out how often you should replace your air filter so your system can remain in top working condition all year long!
Why Change Your HVAC Air Filter?
One of the best things to protect your HVAC equipment from premature breakdown is changing out its air filter. Failure to replace your air filters in a timely manner may result in the following:
- Higher energy expenses: When your air filter becomes clogged, your system works harder to pull air through to heat or cool your living area. This means your system will run longer, resulting in higher energy bills.
- Increased health risk: If your air filter isn’t working, you could increase your exposure to dust, allergens, and other airborne contaminants that can damage your health and contribute to respiratory illness.
- Premature system failure: Forcing your HVAC equipment to work twice as hard to meet your comfort needs can cause your system to experience a premature breakdown, resulting in expensive repair or replacement services.
When Should You Change Your Air Filter?
In general, most HVAC specialists recommend changing out your air filter once every three months (90 days). When swapping out your air filter, it’s important to consider how different air filters operate so that you can achieve the highest indoor air quality possible. Pleated air filters, for example, offer higher quality filtration that effectively captures unwanted airborne particles. By contrast, low-quality fiberglass air filters may need to be changed once a month since they aren’t nearly as effective.
Should I Change My Air Filter Sooner?
Every family is different, which means they may have different requirements for how often they should change their air filters. The following are some helpful rules of thumb to follow for more frequent air filter changes:
- Pets: If you have pets in the house, changing your filter once every two months can help keep the dander from triggering your allergies.
- Allergies: While we’re on the topic of allergens, allergy sufferers should consider changing their air filters once every 50 days.
- Children: Those with young children in the home might wish to consider replacing their filters every two months to keep the indoor air quality high.
- HVAC use: If your HVAC system exists in a vacation home, you may only need to replace your air filters once every six to 12 months.
While these general rules can be helpful to determine a rough schedule, you should aim to visually inspect your air filter once a month to check for excess debris buildup. If you notice an unusually high number of particles in your filter, it’s time to change it out for a new one!
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