How Often Should You Change Your Home’s Air Filter?

Possibly one of the most vital things you can do to ensure proper function of your home’s heating and air conditioning equipment is to change the air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can restrict the flow of air through your furnace or air handler, causing the coil to freeze and the furnace to overheat and use more energy than necessary. Not to mention, the air circulating through your entire house is going through that filter (this is really important stuff people!). Studies show that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks, so here are some tips on how often to change your filters.


When To Change Your Air Filters

This is not a trick. Simply put – when your air filters are dirty, change them. Choosing how often to change your air filters can depend on several factors.

   1. The type of filter your A/C system requires
   2. The overall air quality of the area in which you live.
Is there any construction taking place nearby?
   3. Pets – Birds, cats, dogs, hamsters, etc.
   4. Number of occupants in the home
   5. Whether or not allergies are a concern

 To make it easy to remember, write the date the filter was changed on the side of the new filter.  Another fool-proof way is to set a reminder on your calendar in your phone every 2-6 months.

To make it easy to remember, write the date the filter was changed on the side of the new filter.  Another fool-proof way is to set a reminder on your calendar in your phone every 2-6 months.

As a general rule of thumb, your typical 1” filter should be changed every 2-6 months. Popup or media filters should be changed every 6 months – 1 year. General guidelines however, are not applicable to every home. For example, if you have pets in the home, you may consider changing your filter more frequently, as pets have a tendency to shed which may clog the air filter fast. If you have allergies, you may want to change the air filter more frequently in order to maximize clean air and minimize your symptoms. On the other hand, if you own an infrequently occupied home (like a vacation home), then replacing your air filters just 1-2 times annually may be sufficient.

Filters also vary in their ability to remove airborne particles. Bothered by allergies? Follow this link to check out American Standard's AccuClean air purifier. This electronic air filter removes particles as small as allergens, and there are no filters to change. Simply vacuum the cells once every six months.

In summary, consider all variables in determining how often you should change your filters.