Go Back

How Often Should You Change Your Air Conditioner Filter?

changing air filters Buric Heating

Changing your air filter on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do on your own to take care of your HVAC system. This maintenance measure keeps everything running smoothly while simultaneously lowering your energy use and expenses. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook this chore for months at a time, leading to increased energy bills and potential maintenance difficulties. 

How often should your furnace filter be changed? Well, it depends on a lot of factors. Here are some general guidelines and suggestions to assist you in determining the ideal time period for your HVAC system.

Questions Relating to Your Home and IAQ

When utilizing less costly fiberglass filters, it is recommended that you change your air filter in your house every month. High-end pleated filters often last up to six months, but these standard limits are based on average use and do not account for filter size or type. 

In general, pleated air filters and furnace filters should be replaced every three months in your house. The longer the filter stays in place, the more dust, debris, and allergens are trapped inside, clogging the filter and reducing its effectiveness. If you answered yes to any of the following questions, you should replace your filter more frequently than is suggested.

Do You Have Pets?

If you own a cat, dog, or any other sort of pet, you are well aware that odor may accumulate over time and that shedding is at its peak with the changing of the seasons. You should replace your air conditioner filter every two months if you have a pet, especially as the seasons shift.

Does Anyone in Your Home Have Breathing Conditions?

Pollution in the air may be dangerous for those with asthma, bronchitis, and other breathing issues. But surprisingly, in some cases, indoor air can be even worse than outside air. If you have someone in your home that suffers from allergies, asthma, or bronchitis, they will be significantly more susceptible to airborne particles than others.  You should change the AC filter in your house every six weeks to maintain the greatest indoor air quality.

Do You Have Kids in Your Home?

When you have little children at home, you want to ensure that your indoor air quality is as good as possible. You should replace your air conditioning filter every two to three months at the absolute least to maintain the air quality at a healthy level and keep your home clean!

What Can Affect the Lifespan of Your HVAC Filter?

If you’re asking yourself how often you should change the air conditioner filter in your house, it’s in your best interest to know what factors play a role in the durability of a filter. Whether you live in a single-family house or you’re changing air conditioning filters in an apartment, here’s what you can do to make your filter last as long as possible.

Local Weather Conditions

If you live in a warm area and just use your air conditioner or furnace for a couple of hours a day, one filter may last you a summer or even a year. On the other hand, if you use your HVAC system regularly, you'll need to change the filter every three weeks.

How Often You Use the Property 

Air filters must be replaced more frequently in homes that utilize their HVAC system daily than in vacation homes that do not filter air on a regular basis. Change the air filters every six to twelve months if your home's heating and cooling systems are only on during a few months of the year.

The Size of Your Home 

Your air conditioning systems and furnace will have to work a lot less when you live in a smaller area. That means, if you live in a smaller space, you might need fewer filter replacements. Nonetheless, because a small appliance used to cool a less spacious room usually has smaller filters, you may need to change the filter more frequently than you would in a bigger residence.

Air Quality

The air outside and inside your house influence the replacement cycle of your air filter and furnace filter. You'll need to replace your air filter more regularly if the air quality outdoors is bad or if you have pets inside. It’s also a good idea to change the furnace filter more often if you have anyone with allergies under your roof. 

While these factors influence how often you should change your air filter, you need to physically inspect your filter once a month to look for excessive particle collection. Even though the unclean air filter hasn't reached the end of its intended lifespan, it's a good idea to replace it if it's covered with dust and debris.

Why It’s Important to Change Your Air Filter 

When you’re asking yourself how often a filter should be changed in an air conditioner, you’ll quickly learn that regular replacements come with many benefits. Pet hair, dirt, and other annoying particles get trapped in air filters, allowing your air conditioning system to distribute clean, refreshing air back throughout your house. 

The filter eventually catches so much dust and dirt that air cannot correctly filter or pass to the HVAC unit. This can lead to:

  • System failure
  • Health issues
  • High electric costs

Changing the filter often makes it easier for fresh air to flow throughout your home. It helps the entire air conditioning unit run smoothly, decreasing the chance of any air-related health conditions. This will also save you a penny on your electric bill. 

How to Change an Air Filter

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re using the right size filter. Look at your existing filter (which should have the size printed on one of its sides) to determine the filter size. If you can't find the dimensions of the old filter, measure its length, breadth, and depth with a measuring tape. 

Next, make sure the unit is turned off. Flip the button on your thermostat or switch the circuit breaker to turn it off. Your air filter can be found in one of two locations—a return duct or an air handler in an attic, cellar, or utility closet.

Open the access panel if your air filter is in the system's air handler. Remove the air filter's grille or cover. To loosen the little screws fastening it, you may need to employ a screwdriver. If your filter is in the return duct, remove it by flipping the grille latches. 

Remove the old filter from its location. Make sure to check it carefully within the cover or grille. Place the replacement filter inside the device, making the airflow arrows point in the right direction. After changing the filter, switch the system back on to confirm the filter is properly positioned and the air conditioner is operating correctly.

Hire the Experts 

Your air conditioner is an essential device for keeping indoor air cool and comfortable for Ellicott City residents, especially during the summer weather. That is why it is critical to hire a qualified air conditioning expert. Our team at Buric Heating and Air Conditioning would love to help you with any of your air filter needs. 

We believe that we’re one big family simply looking to help another family like yours! When you work with Buric, you can expect comprehensive, honest, and personalized care. Give us a call or reach out online to schedule a consultation!