Air filters are an essential part of your HVAC system. Regularly replacing them ensures that you have clean air to breathe in your home and that your HVAC system stays in tip-top shape.
The answer to how often you should change your air filters isn’t clear-cut. Instead, it depends on several factors, including the type of filter you have. Cheaper fiberglass filters will need to be replaced every 30 days and are generally not recommended, as they don’t do a great job filtering. Pleated filters can have a wide range of time before they need to be replaced, up to 6 months for higher-end ones. The amount of time recommended between replacements may also depend on the size of the filter and the location you live in.
It is generally recommended to replace pleated air filters every 90 days. If you wait longer than this, the efficiency of your filter will decrease as it becomes clogged with dirt, dust, and allergens from the air.
People who have allergies and asthma are more sensitive to airborne particles, making them more susceptible to suffering from breathing issues. As a result, replacing your filters every 6 weeks is recommended if you or someone you live with has asthma or allergies.
Having pets, especially dogs and cats, means hair and dander can build up in your space which can cause unpleasant odors and cause those with allergies to experience more symptoms. If you have pets, try replacing your filters every two months to reduce odor and ensure you have clear air to breathe.
Infants, children, and teens do not have a fully developed respiratory system until they are about 20 years old, so having quality air to breathe indoors is essential. Keep your air clean for your kiddos by replacing your filters every 2-3 months.
In addition to the quality of your filter and the needs of the residents in your home, other factors may affect how often you need to replace your air filters.
If you live in extreme temperature conditions, such as a place where it is very hot or cold, you probably use your HVAC system more than someone living in a temperate climate. You may find that you need to replace your air filter more often. This is especially true if you’re using cheaper fiberglass filters.
Larger homes require more air to be pumped through your HVAC system to change the temperature, causing your air filters to need to be changed more often. If you live in an apartment or small home, you may be able to go longer between replacements, but often smaller spaces have smaller air filters, so don’t assume you’re in the clear without checking first.
The air quality inside and outside your home can affect how often you need to replace your air filters. If you live in a heavily populated city or near a construction site, you may need to replace your filters more often. Having lots of pets can also affect air quality, so it’s recommended to replace your filters more often if you have dogs or cats.
Your air filters are not just for making sure the air you breathe is clear. They have an important job of protecting sensitive components of your HVAC unit from airborne particles like dust, hair, and dirt. Eventually, your filter will fill up with these particles. If you wait too long to replace it, your air filter can fail, allowing airborne particles into your HVAC system, causing damage that could potentially require expensive repairs. The same goes for not using a filter at all.
Without a filter, particles will eventually build up on the indoor coil. This will reduce the efficiency of your system and require us to pull the coil and clean it, which is a very expensive procedure. Your condensate line will also eventually become plugged and could cause major water damage.
At Accutemp, we know that replacing your air filters is just one part of your HVAC maintenance, so we offer HVAC maintenance services to ensure you’re not stranded at home in the Arizona heat. If you have found yourself stuck without air conditioning or heat, contact us today, and our HVAC experts will get your system running again ASAP.