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 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. 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. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, the efficiency of the filter decreases.
After a renovation, such as a project involving drywall, pieces of drywall, dirt, and dust may build up in the air ducts, restricting airflow through the air filters. If you have an asthmatic or allergic person at home, change the filter every 6 weeks to ensure that the indoor air quality is the best. The air can no longer be properly filtered and air dust and other contaminants will enter the system. A vacation home where you only live part-time, for example, will need far fewer filter changes than a large family home with numerous occupants.
Whether you're an HVAC expert or not, the only way to be 100% sure that your system is working properly is to check the filter once a month. Whether it's a single pet or a full house, animals can lose hair and other particles that can quickly clog filters. Cats and dogs lose and have odors that can accumulate in their space, so it is necessary to change the filter every 2 months. As a general rule, a lower occupancy of the home extends the life of the air filter, while a higher occupancy of the home reduces it.
While these factors affect the frequency of air filter replacement, you should visually inspect the filter every month for excessive particulate buildup. The lifespan of an air filter also depends on the size of the home, as larger homes circulate more air through the air filters. A professional will be able to help you if there is a particular protocol for changing the air filter of a specific brand or how often an air filter needs to be changed. Furnaces and air conditioners in smaller homes need to pump less air for the same amount of temperature change, which can mean less frequent filter changes.
Marking your calendar every 90 days or trying to remember the last time you changed your filter can be a challenge, which is why many oven manufacturers recommend replacing it at the beginning of each new season. If you don't suffer from allergies, let's find out if you should replace your HVAC equipment more often than you think. When you buy a new air filter, you'll find the manufacturer's recommendations for the replacement program.