How Often Should I Change Air Filters?

Changing air filters in your heating and cooling system is an easy form of preventative maintenance anyone can do. A clogged air filter can reduce performance, cause overheating, and potentially even break your system. That’s why it can be so important to regularly check and change them. However one thing often left unclear is, how often should I change air filters? This article should help shine some light on the question.

Keeping Your Air Clean air filters

There is no industry standard on how long an air filter should last. Depending on home type, number of occupants, pets, type of filter, the recommended change time can vary. However generally if you aren’t a smoker and don’t have pets in your home a common one inch filter could last up to 90 days. When looking at more dense air filters, longevity goes up. The most dense five to six inch pleated filters can last up to a year without needing to be changed. A general rule of thumb is a one inch filter should be changed every 60 days, a two inch 90 days, three inch 120 days and so on. If your household has some awesome pets that does have some worthwhile changes to your filter life. If you have a single dog or cat you should check your filter at least every two months, and if you have more than one a monthly check makes the most sense. An individual with allergies would also be better off checking their filters every twenty days. Finding out what filter type your home has is key to knowing just how long they should last.

The Damage of a Dirty Filter

You might be wondering what the downside is of not changing your filter, and there are some potentially very expensive issues that occur without regular changes. A clogged filter forces your system to work harder to maintain necessary air pressures, which puts added strain on the system. Also because air flow is reduced cooling is hindered and system overheating can occur. A new filter every few months is certainly much cheaper than an entirely new heating and cooling system due to lack of maintenance.

Is My Filter Dirty?

The easiest way to tell if your filter is dirty is to remove it from the system and hold it to a light. If you can’t see the light through the filter it’s time for a change. Another way to check if your filters need cleaning is to look for build ups of dust along your vents. That is a sign the filter is due for a change. If you notice a burning smell that can also from the system overheating from a clogged filter. If you need help with finding out what filter to use, replacing them, or servicing your system you can contact us here. We have been heating and cooling experts since 1994 and would love to help you keep your homes air quality safe.

Ryan Ballard