How Often Should You Change your HVAC Filter?

Every HVAC system needs a filter change for it to function properly. Whenever filters are clogged and dusty, the aftermath is a strained AC and compromised air quality. The impact is so severe that the entire HVAC unit can break down in some cases. With these serious implications in mind, knowing how often one should replace their HVAC filter is crucial. While most manufacturers and HVAC professionals/ technicians recommend an average of 90 days or three months for filter changes, the frequency may vary depending on specific situations. You may have to change filters sooner depending on different scenarios.

If You Have Pets

While the general rule is to wait for 90 days before changing your HVAC system’s filter, this may not be viable in cases where homeowners have pets. The pet dander and fur tend to clog the filters faster and will cause airflow obstruction. Consequently, you may have to replace the filters sooner. Most homeowners with pets change their filters after 60 days. This duration may even be shorter if you have multiple pets and may require changing the filters after 20 to 45 days. Doing so ensures proper air circulation, which helps your AC function better and prevents any respiratory infections resulting from compromised air quality.

 Vacation Homes

Just as there is an average of 90 days for regular homes and fewer days for homes with pets, you may also want to know how often you need to change the filters of your vacation home. Filter changes, in this case, will be fewer than usual. Since the space is only used occasionally, you can change the filters every 9 to 12 months. Bear in mind that the more you use your vacation home, the more frequent the AC filter will need to be changed.

What Happens When You Forget to Change the Filter?

One may wonder why all this much emphasis on filter changes? Simply put, your home’s quality of air can become compromised. An HVAC system filter is designed to protect the internal components of the HVAC system. Most of these components are delicate and easy to damage. Letting all sorts of debris and dirt into your unit can reduce your HVAC unit’s lifespan, not to mention the constant repairs you may have to endure.

Depending on your system, you may have to clean the filters or replace them as they get clogged. Failing to do this lets in contaminants and dust that compromise the efficacy of your AC, thus hindering its performance. With increased airflow restriction, the unit strains more, leading to inefficiency of energy consumption, constant repairs of the AC unit, and eventually may trigger the unit’s failure if the problem persists and is ignored.

Make sure to monitor the air filters in your AC closely. Set reminders if you have to, but always replace dirty filters or clean them if that is what your system requires.