When to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter: A Guide for Homeowners

Learn when to change your air conditioner filter with this guide for homeowners from Petro Home Services. Find out how often to replace AC filters based on location, pets, system age & more.

When to Change Your Air Conditioner Filter: A Guide for Homeowners

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. Older systems often use fiber air filters, which should be replaced approximately every 30 days. Newer systems typically use pleated filters, which should be replaced approximately every 90 days.

If the back of the unit is too hot or you feel warm air coming out, it's a sign that the AC filter needs to be changed. A clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool, leading to more frequent repairs and a shorter life of the unit. According to ENERGY STAR, you should check and change your air conditioner filter every month during peak season. If you know how to change the AC filter yourself, this is a job that you can take care of on your own.

However, it's best to ask your HVAC service technician for help if you're unsure. They can show you where the filter is located, how to remove the old filter and insert the new one, and how to get the right filters for your system. If you want to improve the air quality in your space by eliminating pollen, mold, and other harmful contaminants, you should invest in HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 10 or higher. To determine how often you need to change your air filter, visually inspect it every month during peak season.

After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You may need to re-evaluate if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. Changing the air filters in your HVAC system is an essential practice that ensures that clean air circulates throughout your home. City dwellers facing smog and air pollution should change filters more often than those who live in rural areas without air quality issues.

If you have allergies or asthma sufferers in your home, investing in high-quality air filters and replacing them more frequently can reduce symptoms related to hay fever, pollutants, and other sinus-related problems. When reinserting the filter into the housing, make sure the arrow points away from the return and toward the air handler. With information on topics ranging from heating fuel facts to common air conditioning questions, Petro Home Services can help you better understand your heating, cooling and home comfort needs.

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