When Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?

Learn when is best time to change your HVAC Filter and how often should you replace them for optimal performance.

When Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?

In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. The most obvious sign that you need a new air filter is if the one you have is gray and dirty. Be sure to take out the air filter and check it out at least once every two months.

If it looks dusty or grimy, it's time to replace it. Air filters and oven filters should be inspected at least once a month. If they are dirty, they should be replaced with a clean one. When you remove the air filter from the air handling unit, if you hold it close to a light source, you can see if the filter is dirty or clogged; if you can't see the light through the filter, it's definitely time to change it.

Fiberglass air filters are more affordable but less efficient at capturing dust and particles in the air. They usually need to be changed every 30 days or less. Regardless of the HVAC system you have, each unit needs a properly tuned quality filter to keep indoor air quality clean and your unit operating at peak efficiency. The HVAC air filter helps keep indoor air clean by trapping mold particles, pollen, and other contaminants moving through the system. Changing the air filters in your HVAC system is an essential practice that ensures that clean air circulates throughout your home.

But how often do you need to change the air filter? How often do you need to change the oven filter? Well, it depends. A clean filter is necessary to prevent dust from passing through the HVAC system, where it can accumulate in the internal coils of the air conditioner and reduce the efficiency of the unit. In smaller homes, the HVAC system has to move less air, which can mean less frequent air filter replacements. If you answer yes to this question, you'll want to change your filter every 6 weeks to maintain the best indoor air quality. Because of their pleats, filters such as the Honeywell Ultra Efficiency filter (also available on Amazon) have more square inches of space to trap dust, so they often require fewer changes, usually every 90 days. To ensure that only clean air comes out of your HVAC system, replace the air filter before it becomes clogged so that you can breathe better.

However, the smaller the appliance used for cooling, the small space usually comes with smaller filters, so you may need to change the filter as often as a filter in a larger home. If the air filter is clogged, it can start to create pressure inside your HVAC system, which can force outside allergens into your home. A clogged air filter will cause your HVAC system to work overtime because you have to use more force to push the same amount of air through the filter. It would be easier to change all air filters on a set schedule, but unfortunately there are many variables that affect how often a filter needs to be changed. 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. The ideal is to change your air filter every three months; however there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter.