Central heating and air conditioning units have air filters to prevent dust and debris from getting into the unit. Filters protect the HVAC parts and extend the lifetime of each component. In order for air filters to do their jobs effectively, they need to be changed several times per year. Here we will explain how often you should change your home air filter.
Factors That Impact How Often to Replace Your Air Filter
Most air filter manufacturers recommend replacing your home air filter every 30-60 days. However, there are some factors that may adjust that timeline. Those include:
- The number of people in the household
- Pets in the household
- Construction, home renovations, and other work that may produce dust
- The environment around the home (dirt roads, pollution, etc.)
- People in the home who have allergies (may require more frequent changes)
- The type of air filters you use (some are designed to last longer than others)
Finding the Right Timing for Your House
In an “average” home, the air filter should be replaced at least every quarter. You could plan this around the seasons changing or set calendar reminders for every three months. With that in mind, some seasons may require more maintenance than others. Spring is a peak time for allergens. If you have people in your home with severe allergies, you may change your filters twice every spring and once for the other seasons.
If you have pets in the home, you will need to replace your filters more frequently than a home without pets. This is true even for pets who do not shed much. If you have a high-shed pet, you may need to replace the filter as often as once a month. For low-shed breeds, once every 60 days should be sufficient.
If you have a house that remains vacant, such as a rental or vacation home, you should still replace the air filter once or twice a year. This will protect the HVAC and reduce repair costs in the future.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
If you’re not sure when your filter was last replaced, here are some signs you may need a new air filter:
- Your air conditioner is taking longer to cool the house than usual
- Your HVAC is cycling longer than usual
- Your home gets dustier faster than usual
- The air filter looks grey with noticeable dirt buildup
- Your energy bills have increased unexpectedly
Changing your home air filter is one of the least expensive ways to maintain your HVAC unit. It will dramatically add to the lifetime of your heating and air conditioning, and it is something you can do yourself. For more information about heating and cooling maintenance, contact Quality Comfort HVAC at (586) 778-8600.