How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

How long a furnace filter lasts with and without pets.

When it comes to maintaining your home’s HVAC system, one of the simplest yet most crucial tasks is regularly changing the air filter. Not only does this practice keep your air clean and healthy, but it also ensures your HVAC system runs efficiently, saving you from unnecessary repairs and energy costs. But the burning question remains: How often should you actually change your filter? Let’s dive into the details.

Understanding Filter Types

Before we pinpoint a timeline, it’s important to recognize that not all filters are created equal. From disposable fiberglass filters to high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, the variety is vast. The type of filter you use can significantly impact how often it needs to be replaced.

  • Fiberglass Filters: These are the most basic and generally need to be changed every 30 days.
  • Pleated Filters: Made from higher-quality materials, pleated filters can last between 3 to 6 months before needing a replacement.
  • HEPA Filters: Known for trapping the smallest particles, HEPA filters can function efficiently for up to a year in a residential setting.

Factors Affecting Filter Life

Several factors can affect how quickly your air filter gets dirty and when it should be replaced:

  • Pets: Homes with furry friends will likely need to change their filters more frequently due to pet dander.
  • Allergies: If someone in your household suffers from allergies, it’s wise to replace the filter more often to remove allergens from the air.
  • Usage: The more you use your HVAC system, the more often the filter will need to be changed. During peak heating and cooling seasons, you might need to replace it more frequently.
  • Outdoor Air Quality: High levels of outdoor pollution or ongoing construction near your home can lead to quicker filter clogging.

General Recommendations

As a general rule of thumb, here’s a quick guide:

  • No pets, allergies, or unusual external factors: Change your filter every 90 days.
  • Home with pets: Change your filter every 60 days.
  • Home with multiple pets or allergy sufferers: Change your filter every 30-45 days.

Why It Matters

Regularly changing your HVAC filter is not just about maintaining air quality; it’s also about keeping your system running smoothly. A dirty filter can lead to increased energy usage and wear on your HVAC system, potentially resulting in expensive repairs or even premature replacement.

Maintenance Plans

To simplify your life, consider subscribing to a maintenance plan with your local HVAC service provider. These plans often include regular check-ups and filter changes, ensuring your system’s longevity and efficiency. Plus, it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Final Thoughts

Changing your HVAC filter is a simple step that can have a significant impact on your home’s air quality and the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. By following the guidelines above and paying attention to the specific needs of your home, you can ensure that you’re changing your filter as often as necessary to maintain a healthy and efficient home environment.

Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to change your filter too often than not enough. Keep your home’s air clean, and your HVAC system happy, with regular filter changes. We can even upgrade your filter for more efficiency and filtration with one of the many Media Air Cleaner options from Honeywell in our Online Store!

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