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

In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air conditioner filter every 90 days or 3 months. Learn more about when and how often you should change your AC filter.

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 change 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 you have allergies, AC professionals generally recommend changing the filter every 45 days for maximum efficiency. A clear sign that the AC filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot. This is because a clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool, leading to more frequent air conditioning repairs and ultimately shortening the life of the unit. To reduce this load, simply change the AC filter regularly.

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 probably take care of on your own. However, if you are unsure how to do it, your best option is to ask your HVAC service technician. 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.

It's also helpful to know what type of filter to use. 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. When reinserting the filter into the housing, make sure the arrow points away from the return and toward the air handler. 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 will need to re-evaluate if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. Children are more sensitive than adults to indoor air pollutants such as mold, dust mite debris, dander and pollen, so make your home an oasis by using quality air filters and replacing them before they become too clogged and dirty. 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 live alone, without pets, and with good surrounding outdoor air quality, the manufacturer's filter change recommendations will likely work well for you.

However, many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, making their system vulnerable to damage. If you want a hypoallergenic or non-shedding dog or cat, you may not have to replace the air filter as much. If the surfaces closest to the vents are more dusty and others appear cleaner, it's a sure sign that the air filter needs to be replaced.Pleated air filters are more expensive at first but they are also more efficient at trapping particles and can last up to 90 days depending on use. 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.With information on topics ranging from heating fuel facts to common air conditioning questions, you can rely on Petro Home Services for facts and information to help you better understand your heating, cooling and home comfort needs.

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