You should replace your air conditioner filter approximately every 90 days, if you don't have allergies, but AC professionals generally recommend every 45 days for maximum efficiency. Be sure to use the correct size and type of air filter. Most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.
If you have pets in your home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Usually, vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can expect to change filters every 9-12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more you need to change the air filter. The only way to determine how often you need to change your air filter is to perform a visual inspection of the filter every month.
After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You'll need to reassess if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. For a little-used vacation home, you could get away with changing filters once a year. However, for a typical suburban home, you'll probably want to change filters at least every 90 days.
But that time frame changes depending on other factors such as location, pets, and age of system and equipment. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter measures how effectively the filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. For the best performance and optimum efficiency of your air conditioning system, change filters every 30 to 45 days. A single person without pets will need to replace their air filters much less frequently than a household with children and multiple pets.
Consider these factors when deciding what type and quality of filter you should use. The only type of filters that trap allergens and spores are HEPA, or high-energy particulate air filters. As mentioned above, there is no set service life for an air filter, but rather requires an evaluation of many different aspects. If your dirty air filter is completely covered with dust and dirt, it's a good idea to change the filter even if it hasn't reached the end of its recommended life.
When buying a new air filter, make sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations for the replacement program. If you live in a big city, pollutants such as smoke, dust and other debris will seep inside and clog the air filter at a much faster rate. To ensure optimal performance of your HVAC system, remember to check your air filter regularly and replace it when necessary.