How Often Should I Change My Air Filter at Home?

How Often Should I Change My Air Filter at Home?

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Filters have pivotal implications. These small but useful components perform an indispensable mission, namely, keeping your air clean, nice and fresh.

The need to use such devices comes down to the fact they provide a clean environment in your home. And this is a way how allergy sufferers and residents with different breathing issues can benefit. By absorbing small particles, they prevent the buildup of dust and pollutants. Thanks to this, you can significantly minimize the risk of seasonal allergies. All these aspects help provide a comfortable daily life and reasonable utility bills, which is a particular advantage for larger homes.

Thus, this is why it is useful to know how often to replace the air filter in a house. In addition, such knowledge allows you to avoid costly repairs, because if you ignore the issue, then at some point you may face even bigger problems.

When wondering how often should you change your air filter, first of all, it’s worth looking at how it works and what to keep in mind.

How Does it Work

Thermal regulation, collection of dust, and multifarious small pollutants, as well as indoor humidity, - are all affected by those devices.

Their job is to sterilize the air passing. An obvious but critical thing to always remember is that the more regular your HVAC runs, the quicker it becomes impure. Besides that, the more cycles, the more dust is retained.

Also, as you move from winter to summer, you will find that these devices are used daily. At the same time, as you move from summer to winter, you will also notice an increased use of furnace filters. So you'll have to wonder how often to change the HVAC filter to avoid costly repairs.

Why It’s Necessary To Change The Filter?

The key task of this device is to keep dust and dirt out of the air. They also protect you from allergens and provide a healthy environment. Ignoring frequent replacements poses far-reaching risks. What’s more, besides the obvious fundamental pros, timely substitution will also extend the longevity of the AC. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to how often to change the AC filter in the house.

Signs To Keep In Mind

Telltale signs that point out this is a right moment to move from asking “How often should you change your HVAC filter?” to actually switching it include:

  1. Malfunctions and damage
  2. Airflow issues 
  3. Clogged ductwork
  4. High energy usage and bills
  5. Loss in heating/cooling power
  6. Excessive noise
  7. Poor air quality
  8. Bad feeling, runny nose, allergies without a reason

It is crucial to provide swap to keep the indoor climate fresh and be confident that everything is operating properly.

Conducting a visual inspection is also a good idea. To do this, use a light source and remove the filter from the air handler to see if it is clogged. If you can't see anything through it, call a company and schedule a service.

How Often to Change The Filter?

In most cases, the substitution cycle can be 2-3 months. Such a maintenance plan is suitable for most units and homes.

At the same time, there are some aspects and features that should be taken into account in the question of how often should you change air filters:

  1. Type. The design & rating determine its endurance.
  2. Air quality rate. If this is below average, it will clog faster.
  3. Pets. Вander and hair clog the filters faster.
  4. Family size. The bigger your family, the higher the level of particulate matter in the air, which means you will have to swap components more often.
  5. Construction. Сonstruction sites release more pollutants due to dust in the air.
  6. MERV. This classification measures the ability to stop particles; The higher it is, the better. But, it’s worth noting that such models become clogged faster.

All in all, the 1-3" types should be substituted once per 1-3 months. If any family members smoke or have allergic reactions, the substitutions will have to be performed more often.

For smoker- and pet-free homes you can use a 1-inch MERV4 type.

What Happens If I Forget to Replace It?

Dust, dirt, and other pollutants will gradually accumulate. Since the unit provides circulation throughout the space, this means that sundry particles will be released into the air.

The consequence of this may be:

  1. Excess dust on furniture 
  2. Breathing difficulties
  3. Increase in electricity bills
  4. Unit failure

This does not mean that problems will begin immediately, but the byproducts are cumulative.

What is the Best Air Filter to Buy?

When choosing, sum up your budget, the features of the house, as well as the family size and the amount of pets, since the question of how often should you change the air filter directly correlates with those aspects.

To enjoy your stay indoor, you can get expensive fiberglass filters or use common pleated filters, which can have different thicknesses and, accordingly, different life spans:

  1. 1" - replace every 2-3 months
  2. 2" - replace every 3 months
  3. 3" - replace every 4 months
  4. 4" - replace every 6 months
  5. 5-6" - replace every 9-12 months

Thicker models have a higher MERV and last longer.

When Should You Call a Pro?

The main rule is to pay attention to how your system works. If something goes wrong and you don't know what exactly might be the problem, it's worth calling the experts.

Factors to keep in mind include:

  1. Strange and loud noises
  2. Weak airflow
  3. No air heating/cooling
  4. Increased energy bills
  5. Respiratoires

When it comes to HVAC systems, it's worth working with a professional company to perform inspections, AC tune-ups, and replacement of certain components as needed, thereby keeping things in working order.

Experts can tell you how often to change the air filter in your home in your specific case.

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Types of Air Conditioning Units: What You Need to Know Before Making a Purchase

7 Tips to Use Your Air Conditioner More Economically

3 Reasons Your AC Unit May Be Freezing Up