When is it Time to Replace Your AC Filter?

Dust and dirt that accumulate around air conditioner vents may be caused by a clogged air filter. The telltale signs that you need a new one are if the filter looks gray and dirty, or if it takes longer to heat or cool the house. It's important to inspect the filter every two months, and if it looks dirty or dusty, replace it. The frequency of replacement can vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets at home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or every 2 months. For homes with several pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or empty houses that aren't used much can wait to change the filters every 9 to 12 months. The more you use your home, the more often you'll need to change the air filter. Your home's air filters should be changed regularly to keep the system running smoothly and to maintain optimal air quality.

But what happens if you let that time go by for a while? Before we talk about WHEN you should change your air filter, let's start with the WHY. Pleated filters are usually better than non-pleated filters, as they allow more surface area to accumulate dust, pet hair, and other debris that floats in the air. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you'll want to replace the filter more often than recommended:

  • Do I have pets?
  • Is my home located in a dry and dusty climate?
  • Is my system or equipment old?
These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering the air conditioning system or circulating through the air. You'll find it easier to remember this important task if you learn how often you should change your air filter in the first place. They are inserted in a specific place inside the return air duct (usually a large, fold-out vent in the hallway or other place in the house). This will help ensure that you can proactively fix the problem before it causes poor air quality or other problems. Consider all factors when deciding on a replacement program and what type and quality of filter to use.

You just need to follow these three simple steps to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner by 5 to 15% by changing clogged filters. Answer these questions first before you decide to replace your AC filter, and always consult a professional for your air conditioning repair and service needs. Creating a checklist for seasonal home maintenance and changing the filter on a schedule is a great idea. As a general rule, you'll want to replace your home's pleated air filters and boiler filters every 90 days. If you answer yes to this question, you'll want to change the filter every 6 weeks to maintain the best indoor air quality.

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