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How Often Should You Replace an HVAC Filter?

July 12, 2023

How Often Should You Replace an HVAC Filter?

There are several factors to consider when deciding how often you should change your HVAC filter.

Did you know that 82% of Americans forget to change their HVAC filters? Not only can dirty filters cause poor air quality in the home, but they can also lead to health issues, as well as higher energy bills and maintenance costs.

Unfortunately, there isn't a clear answer to "How often should I replace an HVAC filter?" We are going to discuss the factors that affect the lifespan of your filter, the signs to look for, and when to change it.

Factors That Influence Your Filter’s Lifespan

There are several factors that can change how often you need to change your air filter. Knowing the influences can help ensure you change them on time and keep your home safe.

Filter Type

The type of filter will make a difference in lifespan. Fiberglass, pleated, and electrostatic are common materials that home filters are made of. Each one has different efficiency and durability levels, which changes how often they need to be replaced.

Air Quality

How is the air quality in the city or town you live in? Is it dusty, high in pollen, or pollution?

Outdoor and indoor quality will affect the lifespan of your filter. The worse the air quality, the shorter time period the filter will last.

If you aren't sure what the quality of the air is in your home, you can get a monitor or call a professional to check it for you. You may start to notice unpleasant health symptoms, for example, itchy eyes, runny nose, dry throat, and sinus congestion.

These are all signs your air quality isn't good. Be sure to switch your HVAC air filter right away.


You may be surprised to learn that your lifestyle can also affect how often you need to change your home air filter.

If you smoke or have pets, you need to switch your filters out more frequently as well. The particles from the smoke and hair will clog the HVAC filters in households faster than in households without those factors.

System Usage

How frequently and how often you run your HVAC system is another factor that could either extend or shorter the lifespan of your filter. If you are continuously running your AC system, it will need to be replaced more often.

If you want your filters to last longer, be sure to turn your AC system off when you leave your home.

Manufacturer's Recommendations

When you're trying to determine when to change your HVAC filters, be sure to check the manufacturer's guide. The recommended timeline will be listed, making it easy for you.

Each system is different and the manufacturer will have performed tests to determine the right amount of time between filter changes. While you shouldn't base your filter-changing schedule solely on the recommended, it can be a very helpful tool.

Filter Inspection

You can also visually check your HVAC filter to see if it needs to be changed. If there is a lot of dirt build-up, you will see it clearly and know it's time to change it.

Be sure to check it every couple of months. Typically, a filter will last around three months. However, be sure to check before that to ensure it's clean. If it becomes dirty before the 90-day mark, change it immediately.

If you don't feel comfortable checking the filter yourself, you can call a reputable company to come inspect it.

Allergy and Respiratory Concerns

If you or someone in your household has allergies, you may benefit from switching your filters out more frequently. This will help you keep good air quality in your home and reduce your risk of having an allergy flare-up.

Instead of waiting three months to change your air filters, switch them out every one to two months.

Professional HVAC Maintenance

One of the easiest ways to keep your filters in good condition is to talk to a professional. They will be able to assess the filter and advise on the next step. They may change the filters immediately or come back in a few weeks to replace them.

Either way, you will have peace of mind knowing your home air filters are clean.

Signs to Look For

If you're a new homeowner or if you've never changed your filter before, you may not know what signs to look for. There are several factors that will indicate your home air filters need to be changed, but if you aren't aware of them, you'll likely miss them.

If you notice your electric bill increases suddenly, it may be an indicator that your filters aren't working efficiently. Your unit will start to work harder and harder to accommodate the dusty filters.

The same thing is true if the airflow from room to room is drastically different.

Dust around your home will start to build quicker, as well. If you have to dust more often, there's a good chance your filters are clogged.

HVAC Filter

It's easy to forget to change your HVAC filter. As a homeowner, you have a lot of responsibilities, and switching your HVAC system filters needs to be on your to-do list.

Setting up a calendar reminder will ensure you don't forget it and will keep your home comfortable, clean, and safe. Don't wait to get the best air filters for your home. It's recommended that you get air filter delivery and schedule regular professional maintenance.

Our team of experts will help you choose your filters to ensure your AC system is running smoothly. Get started with your filter subscription today!

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