How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter at Home?
Knowing how often you should change your air filter is arguably the most important maintenance task you can complete for your AC. Regularly changing your HVAC air filters will prolong the life of your AC, help ensure that it runs efficiently and keep the air inside your home clean.
Generally, experts recommend changing your air filters every 30 to 60 days in states like Florida. However, you might need to change them more frequently than that depending on certain factors, like:
- The type of filter you use
- How frequently you use your AC
- How many pets live in your home
- If you or other members of your household have allergies
To give you a better idea of how often should air filters be changed, let's take a closer look at these factors.
Factors that Determine How Often to Change Air Filter
The Type of Filter You Use
Filters are rated based on how effectively they can capture dust and other airborne particles. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles it can capture from the air. High-MERV air filters need to be changed more frequently because they capture more dust and airborne particles and get clogged faster.
If you have 1 inch air filters or 2 inch air filters, here are some general guidelines for you:
- MERV 1-4 air filters: Change them every 2 to 3 months
- MERV 5-8 air filters: Change them every 1 to 2 months
- MERV 8 or higher: Check monthly and replace when it gets dirty
If you are using 4 inch air filters or 5 inch air filters, it's typically okay to wait a little longer to replace it. However, if you're unsure, it's always a good idea to check your air filter manufacturer's recommendations or consult with a professional HVAC technician. You'll also want to consider other factors outside of your filter's MERV rating, which we'll cover in the following sections.
How Frequently You use Your AC
You'll likely need to change your air filters more frequently during the summer when you're using your AC the most.
In places like Florida and Texas, you probably use your air conditioner heavily in the summer, but you may not use it much at all during the winter months. Since you use your AC less in the winter, you can probably get away with changing the filters less often.
But during the summer months, you may end up changing them more frequently than the usual recommendation timeline. That's because the longer your AC runs in the summer, the more dust and particles it will pull into the system. The result? Contaminants get trapped in your air filters more quickly.
How Many Pets Live in Your Home
The more pets you have living in your home, the more frequently you'll want to change your filters.
Pet hair and dander (dead skin cells) can build up quickly on an air filter. So the more furry cats and dogs you have, the quicker your filter will accumulate hair and dust. Not to mention, animals also track additional contaminants inside the house, such as pollen and dirt, making it even more important to change your filter frequently.
In warmer climates like Florida, dogs and cats may also shed more during the summer months. So, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your air filters. Check them monthly and replace them if they appear dirty or dusty.
If You or Other Members of Your Household have Allergies or Asthma
If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, it's best to change your filter more frequently than recommended.
People with breathing conditions or severe allergies are typically more sensitive to contaminants in the air. Not to mention, with the additional humidity in Florida, mold is especially a concern as it feeds on dust and moisture.
To ensure that everyone in your household has healthy, clean air to breathe, make sure you're frequently changing your air filters. It might be necessary to change them as often as every six weeks during the summer months.
If you're unsure how frequently you should replace your air filters, a certified HVAC professional in the Fort Myers area can provide helpful recommendations and advice.
Want Personalized Recommendations on How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
At our sister company Advanced Air, we've maintained air conditioners for Fort Myers-area residents for more than 30 years, and we offer nothing less than 5-star service. Contact us today to learn more about our AC maintenance services, get recommendations on filter replacements, or have us change your air filters for you.