How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter and Why?

By March 18, 2020 HVAC Maintenance

One of the keys to an efficient and safe HVAC system is a clean and functional air filter. Over time, air filters can experience buildup or wear that will make them inefficient and keep your systems from working the way they should. At some point, you will ultimately need to replace your air filter.

Why Change Your Air Filter?

There are several key benefits of replacing your HVAC system’s air filter that can help you save money and keep you and your loved ones healthier at home.

Some of the benefits of changing your air filter can include:

  • Extending the life of your HVAC system 
  • Reduced energy costs 
  • Healthier air quality 
  • Prevention of buildup of mold and other potential hazards 
  • Prevention of damage to other equipment 

Replacing your air filter can help you get the most from your HVAC systems while improving overall air quality at home, without the need to spend a lot of money on extensive repairs or equipment. The more attention you give your air filters, the more you’ll be able to preserve the health of your HVAC system.

Variables That Affect How Often You Should Change Your HVAC Filter

There are certain factors to consider that will influence how frequently you need to change your air filters as well as how often you should perform HVAC maintenance.

1. The Type of Air Filter You Have

Some filters are designed to last longer than others, with some filters rated for 6 months while others are intended to last for up to a year. However, for standard 1″ filters, it’s generally recommended to get a replacement once every three months at a minimum. Depending on your home and living conditions, you may even need to replace your filter on a monthly or weekly basis. While this may seem like a hassle, replacing filters frequently can help you save on costly damage and breakdowns while keeping your systems running optimally.

2. How Often You Use Your HVAC Unit

Most homes in temperate climates will typically use their heating or air conditioning units a few hours per day on average, which can keep filters in decent condition for anywhere from an entire season to a year. However, if you live in a particularly warm or cool climate and need to run your HVAC systems more often or even constantly, you may need to change the air filter every three weeks to a month, particularly if you have a fiberglass filter installed.

3. You Have Young Children

It’s important for children to remain healthy in the home, and healthy indoor air quality will be a big factor in a healthy living environment. If you have children living in the home, you may need to replace your filter every two to three months, which can give your kids the consistent air quality they need.

4. You Have Pets

Certain pets such as dogs and cats tend to shed periodically, and they can also cause odors to build up over time, leading to poor overall air quality throughout the home. Pets often shed most frequently around seasonal transitions, such as when summer turns into fall and winter transitions into spring, so try to replace your filters at these times. Having pets can also aggravate allergies, so if you have any pets in the home, you should consider changing your air filter once every two months.

5. A Member of Your Household Has Asthma or Allergies

Individuals with allergies or asthma—or in some cases both—will be far more sensitive to dust and other airborne particles than other members of the household. If anyone with asthma or allergies lives in the home, you should change your filter every six weeks to maintain optimal air quality.

6. The Size of the Home

Air conditioner units and furnaces in smaller homes won’t need to pump and circulate as much air as larger homes to maintain a consistent temperature and air quality, which will lead to less frequent air filter changes. On the other hand, smaller systems tend to equip smaller filters, which may mean that you need to change your filters as often as you would with larger systems.

Need Help? Contact BR McGinty

Each of these factors can affect how often you need to change your air filters. If you need professional assistance, contact BR McGinty to perform reliable HVAC service and help you replace your air filters or any other equipment when needed.