How Often Should I Replace my HVAC Filter?

The simplest, and perhaps cheapest thing you could ever do to keep your air conditioning and heating system working at its best is cleaning or replacing the air filter as often as possible. Changing the filter will not only restore your HVAC system’s performance and efficiency but also improve your home’s air quality.

With indoor air pollution being at the top of the list of environmental health hazards, the need to make replacements at the right intervals grows exponentially. But how often should you be replacing your HVAC filters?

What Determines The Time To Replace?

While most people might replace their filters at the start of the season that pushes the system to its fullest ability, others will play safe and do monthly swaps. These two approaches could be overkill or insufficient depending on how hard you push your system.

If you want to know how often you should replace the filters, consider the following:

-Different filters have different lifespans. A manufacturer will recommend how long you should run the filter on your specific unit before swapping it.
-Is the air in the house not feeling as fresh and clean as it was with a fresh filter? If you are getting frequent colds and allergic reactions it may be overdue.
-It’s wise to change your filters more often if you live in dusty areas with heavy construction pollution or have pets in your house. The dust and pet hair will clog your filter faster.
-The more people there are in the home the more the dirt and dust will fly around. You will have to do more filter replacements in a busy house.
-Does anyone smoke or do you use a wood or coal stove? Carbon build up can reduce filter efficiency.

Check Your Filters Often

With so many variables in play, there can’t be a specific timeline governing how often you should be replacing your filters. The best way to go about this is by checking how dirty your filters are on a monthly basis. Replace them when they are too dirty and you have noticed degraded air quality in your home.

Heavily used houses in urban areas or other regions with heavy pollutants in the air might force you to do a filter replacement every month while a holiday house supporting one or two people for a limited time a year can survive up to 12 months before the filter gets too dirty.

If you don’t have time to keep monitoring your filters, you can opt to play it safe and stick to a monthly replacement. Alternatively, you can get a smart thermostat that monitors your filters and gives you an alarm when it thinks it is the right time to do the replacement.

Here is a guideline you can follow to help you work out how often you should replace your HVAC air filters. Guidelines factors were found online but more notably boiler quotes

-Once every six to 12 months in a lightly used house that is not in a heavily polluted area. For instance, a holiday home you only use once a year.
-Change the filters after 90 days in a suburban home that doesn’t have any pets.
-If you have pets, change your filters every two months.
-If you have pets and someone who is allergic or asthmatic, change the filters once every month.

Your A/C Use Behavior

A/C filters will only wear as fast and often as you force air through them. With most homeowners going green, the most energy friendly homes will run the A/C less often hence making them more energy efficient. The lower the frequency with which an A/C is turned up the less air will flow over your filters.

Since the filters cannot get dirty when you are not using them, exploring alternative ways to keep your house warm or cool will cut you some slack when it comes to HVAC air filter replacements.

Other than environmental factors and room occupancy, you will also have to consider things like filter size or rating. A two-inch furnace filter will hold its own for longer than the one-inch filter. Go for high-quality filters with a better rating to reduce the change frequency.

Your filters will affect how hard the A/C works and how fresh your home is. Monitoring your monthly utility bills and the general feel of the air in the house is a perfect way to tell when it is time to replace your air filters.