How Often Should You Change Your Home AC Filter?

You should replace your home air conditioner filter approximately every 90 days, if you don't have allergies. However, AC professionals generally recommend changing it every 45 days for maximum efficiency. Be sure to replace it with the correct size and type of air filter. If your air conditioner is working properly, you can remove the filter and buy one that is identical to it.

The only way to ensure how often you need to change your air filter is to perform a visual inspection of the filter every month. After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You'll need to reassess if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. A three-person household in an “average” new-build home with no pets should replace the air conditioner filter every 90 days.

A single person might even change their air filter less frequently. How often you need to change your air filters depends on how often you use your home. For a little-used vacation home, you could get away with changing filters once a year. However, for a typical suburban home, you'll probably want to change filters at least every 90 days.

But that time frame changes depending on the additional circumstances below. Children are more sensitive than adults to indoor air pollutants such as mold, dust mite debris, dander and pollen, so it's important to use quality air filters and replace them before they become clogged and dirty too much. To help protect the life of your air conditioner and improve comfort, it's important to clean or replace your HVAC filter regularly. If you have allergies and are sensitive to air pollutants, then it's a good idea to change your air filters every 30 to 45 days.

However, for every pet you have in your home, you should expect to get 30 days less performance from your air filter. If you live in Florida and use your air conditioner all day every day, you'll need to change it as often as 30 days. However, the level of filtration can also vary depending on the air filter, and a smart idea is to review the filtration manufacturer's recommendations regarding when to clean or replace the exact type of filter you are using. Pleated filters can last longer than flat filters because they have a larger surface area to capture particles in the air.

Ultimately, the decision on how often to check, clean, or replace the air filter in your HVAC system is up to you. If the residence is a vacation home where you don't use the system as much, you can even change the filter every few months. If someone in your family has sensitive allergies, changing the air conditioner filter more often can help reduce symptoms inside your home. Carpets can trap more dust and hair than wood or tile, which can end up in the air conditioner filter.

Outdoor air quality can have a big impact on how often the air filter becomes dirty and needs to be replaced. However, many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, leaving their system vulnerable to damage. In Florida, you may need to change air filters more frequently because of moisture, mold, dust, and other allergens. If your dirty air filter is completely covered with dust and dirt, it's a good idea to change the filter even if it hasn't reached the end of its recommended life.

Cheri Baldinger
Cheri Baldinger

Subtly charming problem solver. Subtly charming twitter expert. Lifelong travel fanatic. Explorer. Extreme social media specialist. Wannabe internet fan.

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