How Often Should You Change the Air Filter in Your HVAC System?

When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, one of the most important tasks is changing the air filter. Most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend replacing 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. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter accumulates more dirt, dust, and allergens from the air, its efficiency decreases.

Read on to find out if you should replace the filter more often. On average, air filters should be changed every 90 days. An HVAC filter will typically last one to three months. This means you need to keep track of when you installed it.

If you wait too long to change the filter, indoor air quality will suffer. With air conditioners, it's best to replace the filter every 30 days with cheaper fiberglass filters to avoid higher energy bills. If this applies to you, you'll want to change your filter every 6 weeks to maintain optimal indoor air quality. When you change the air filter, more air can flow through the system with lower energy consumption, resulting in better circulation, cleaner air, and a lower electricity bill. However, if your HVAC system runs almost constantly, it's best to change the filter every few weeks (especially if you use a cheaper fiberglass filter). To keep air quality under control and your home clean, you should replace the filter with a minimum interval of 2 to 3 months.

Any use will cause a certain amount of dirt to be trapped in the air filter; after all, that's its job. However, if you need to run your system without an air cleaner, you shouldn't run it longer than six hours. While a filter with a higher MERV rating should last longer, it can also restrict airflow in your home. If there is a visible layer of dirt that covers most of the filter surface and that is thick enough to hide the filter material itself, it's a sign that the filter has been in the HVAC system for too long. During summer and winter peaks, air filters should be changed more frequently than necessary during spring, fall, and milder months. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) scale provides professionals with a consistent standard to use when evaluating the quality of their air filters.

Most HVAC filters are disposable and are usually made of pleated paper designed to trap as many contaminants and particles as possible. If indoor air quality is a priority for you due to family members living with allergies or asthma or if you have pets or small children in your home, check your air filter once a month to see if it is clogged and dirty. When an air cleaner is clogged, the HVAC unit requires more energy to circulate fresh air throughout the house; this extra work requires more electricity. So how can you determine if your air filter has trapped too much dirt and needs changing? One of the advantages of denser filters is not only that they last longer but they also have a better MERV rating.

Nina Siegwarth
Nina Siegwarth

Certified foodaholic. Incurable web specialist. Incurable web advocate. Friendly internet specialist. Evil music aficionado.

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