The essential function of an air filter is to clean the air getting into the house through the heating and cooling system, thus keeping the air inside the house fresh. To ensure the air in the home remains clean, the HVAC air filter and furnace filters need to be changed frequently.
Sometimes homeowners forget to change the air filter in the HVAC systems for a long time, which leads to the accumulation of allergens, debris, and dust in the air filter. A clogged air filter may lead to a high cost of maintenance when you are required to seek professional maintenance and repair.
Factors That Determine How Often to Change Home Air Filters?
As a general rule, furnace filters and pleated air filters are replaced every 90 days. However, the frequency at which you should change your air filter depends on several factors and conditions in your house.
Which Type of Air Filter Do You Use?
Air filters are manufactured in different designs. The difference in the density and thickness of the air filter will determine how often you will be required to change them. A 4″ pleated air filter will last longer than a 1″ pleated air filter.
Denser air filters live longer and possess a better MERV rating. The MERV rating is a 1-20 scale used to measure how well the air filter remove particles out of the air. Filters with a high MERV rating should last longer, but they restrict the airflow and should be replaced often.
Is There Anyone In Your House with Allergies Or Asthma?
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) stated that indoor air quality is as important as outdoor air quality. The outside air might contain harmful pollutants, but indoor air might be worse than outdoor air for people with asthma or allergies.
If anyone in your house is asthmatic or has allergies, they are more sensitive to air pollutants than others. This means that you will be required to change the air filter in your home more often. If yes, then change your air filter every 6 weeks to maintain quality indoor air.
Do You Own Any Pets?
Having pets in your house can influence the frequency at which you will be required to change the HVAC filters in your home. Having pets results in an increase in fur and dust floating through the air in the house.
The dust particles and fur end up affecting the airflow in your house by blocking your air filter. Multiple pets will worsen it, and dust and fur build-up in your HVAC filters will be more.
What Are the Weather Conditions Around Your Home?
It would be best if you upgraded your home air filter to have maximum efficiency during the flu and allergy seasons. During home renovations or when you live in a dusty neighborhood, the dust and dirt will block your air filter; thus, you require frequent air filter changes.
How Often Do You Use Your HVAC System?
Your HVAC filter service life is impacted by how frequently you use the HVAC system. When the HVAC system is used often, the air is circulated more times through the home than when used sparingly.
More air circulation cycles mean that the filters will fill up faster. Therefore, you will be required to change the filters frequently. An air filter must be changed more frequently during summer and winter than during spring and fall.
The table below sums up all of these factors and how often you should change the air filter in your home.
|1 month||2 months||3 months|
|Multiple furry pets||One furry pet||No pets|
|Heavy dust||Moderate dust||Light dust|
|Heat/AC fan- mostly on||Heat/AC fan- moderately on||Heat/AC fan- mostly off|
|Windows/doors- open often||Windows/doors- sometimes open||Windows/doors- usually closed|
Signs That You Need to Change the Air Filter in Your Home
If you often forget to change your air filter, here are some signs and clues to help you know when to change your HVAC air filter.
The HVAC System Gets Too Hot
When the air filter in the HVAC system are blocked, the HVAC system tends to work harder to keep the air inside the house clean and warm. This will result in the system getting too hot due to the added load, thus implying that you should change the air filter.
There Is an Increase in The Electricity Bill
When you use your HVAC system more frequently, the air filter in the system will get clogged with dust and debris. A blocked air filter will make the HVAC system work more, increasing the electricity bill.
More Dust Seen Near the HVAC System Outlets
A common sign of dirty air filters in the HVAC system is dust on furniture and surfaces near the HVAC system outlets. When surfaces further from the HVAC system outlets are cleaner than those closer to the system, it signifies that the air filter need replacing.
You Are Suffering More Allergy Attacks
People suffering from allergies and asthma are susceptible to pollutants such as pollen or dust in the air. When these pollutants fill the air filters, they are forced into the air in your home. This will lead to more allergy and asthma attacks; thus, you should replace the air filters in your home.
Importance of Changing Your Air Filter Frequently
The air filter trap air pollutants such as pet fur, dust particles, and other particles so that the air from the HVAC system can remain clean as it circulates in your home. Here are some of the benefits of changing HVAC air filter frequently.
Low Energy Bills
When the air filter in the HVAC system is free of dust and other pollutants, the HVAC system will be running efficiently, thus reducing energy consumption than when the filters are clogged.
A clean air filter in the HVAC system ensures that clean air is circulated in the house at all times. This reduces the risk of allergies and respiratory diseases associated with polluted air.
Clogged air filter in the HVAC system causes the HVAC system to work harder to pull air through the filter. A clean air filter ensures the system runs smoothly, thus reducing the chances of damaging the HVAC system.
Low Maintenance Cost
When the HVAC systems overwork due to a clogged air filter, the system will strain, causing damage. The damages will force you to call professional maintenance services for repair or replacements, which is expensive. Therefore, it is advisable to change the filter frequently.
HVAC systems are different; thus, the frequency at which you should change the air filter in your home will be determined by the HVAC system you own. As a homeowner, you should know what to expect when changing a HVAC air filter or furnace filters.
To avoid surprises, you should inspect your air filter frequently. It is advisable to change your air filters frequently rather than risking more expenses when the HVAC systems fail or get damaged. When you adhere to the proper guidelines regarding when to change the air filter, the HVAC system will have a higher lifespan.