How often should you change your AC filter? Find the answer to this common question in this guide to HVAC filters.
Air quality stands out as an important factor, especially when indoors.
An average American spends 90% of their time indoors. You should make sure that the air you breathe is both clean and fresh.
The problem is that indoor air tends to hold twice as much or up to five times the amount of pollutants compared to outdoor air. Making sure that it remains clean is something an effective ventilation system provides.
This is where an HVAC unit shines, especially with air filters inherent in their systems. But these accumulate pollutants over time. This ranges from dust to dirt and other allergens.
If each of these filters remains unchecked, it will cause the air quality to drop further.
How often should you change your AC Filter? Let us look into these details and find out how frequent it should be.
The General Recommendation
Shorthand answers to this question are varied by AC unit and home.
You will need to take note of other factors and how long the AC runs in general.
For certain models, especially those with less expensive fiberglass filters, the expected time between replacements is 30 days. High-end pleated filters have a duration before replacement running up to 6 months.
As a general rule, consider the thought of replacing the filters every 30-90 days. Note that the longer the filter stays in place, the more it will accumulate dirt, dust, and allergens.
How Often Should You Change Your AC Filter?
And how would you know that you need to change the air filter?
Whenever possible, try to check the filter every few weeks.
One indicator to pay attention to the amount of dirt accumulated. In the case it has accumulated so much that it obscures the filter material, you need to have it changed.
If you find yourself unsure during the check, always err on the side of replacing the filter anyway. It would be best to stand on the side of caution.
When in doubt, you can check this page for more assistance with HVAC Services.
Other Details to Consider
The expected period for filter replacement is 90 days — although there are factors that you should consider with the home or building where the AC is.
Here are some details that affect the AC filter’s expected replacement time.
Pets at Home
Having a pet, like in the case of a dog or cat at home, would affect the schedule for filter replacement.
Odor and shed fur are among the things that would build up over time. The situation worsens when it comes to the time between season changes.
With that said, consider changing the air filter every two months to address this issue. This is highly suggested when within the seasonal transition (e.g. winter to spring).
Allergies and Asthma
For those afflicted with asthma or allergies, indoor air quality is a priority.
In this case, make sure that it doesn’t have anything that would aggravate their condition and trigger an attack. Even the smallest bit can be a problem.
To ensure that they have clean air, make sure to replace your filters every 6 weeks. This ensures the air quality is at its best.
For homes with children, air quality is also as important as for the ones mentioned earlier.
To ensure that you have a clean home including air quality, you need to replace air filters every 2-3 months.
What Affects the Air Filter Lifespan?
Aside from what is within your home, there are more factors to consider when looking at the AC Filter’s lifespan.
Here are some factors to look into.
AC Usage Frequency
One aspect to look into is how frequently you use your AC. Usage boils down on the type of climate you have within your area.
For temperate climates, using the heater or AC for a few hours each day would have your filter last for a whole season. The most that you can get is up to a whole year.
The frequency in using your heating and cooling systems can affect the lifespan they hold. It lasts longer, up to 6-12 months, when the AC is the least used. However, your filters can only last for weeks if you run your AC on a near-constant basis.
Size of Your Home
Another aspect is the size of the home.
The space that the HVAC covers affect the frequency of having a filter change, as well as the efficiency of the HVAC system. The smaller the space covered, the less frequent it is.
This is the case for small homes. Filter replacements occur at a less-frequent interval due to smaller area coverage.
Keep in mind that the filters for these appliances in such homes tend to be small as well, meaning that the replacement interval may be similar to the larger variants.
Air quality is the bigger factor when it comes to AC filter replacements and operation lifespan.
Pay attention to the environment and take note of what is within the area. On the outdoors, take a look at areas that may have possible allergens or particles.
Pets are also among the other factors for air quality, which we mentioned earlier.
Take a Deep Breath!
So, let’s recap. How often should you change your AC Filter?
While the variables change with the environment inside and outside your home, change the filters whenever possible. Always take the time to check and err on the side of replacing them right away.
After all, having clean air is a plus to a healthy home. Make sure it stays clean as much as you can.
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