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How Often Should I Replace Home Air Filters?

Unless your furnace or air conditioner has a problem, you probably don’t give it much thought, let alone the air filter that works hard to keep your indoor air clean. If you want to maintain lower utility bills, enjoy cleaner air and prevent your equipment from failing prematurely, you should make it a priority to replace your air filter regularly. Learn when to check and change the filter to maximize filtering capability and save money.

How Often to Replace Home Air Filters

The general rule of thumb is to check the air filter every 30 days, but this doesn’t mean you have to replace it that often. Depending on the situation, you may be able to go months or even a year between changing the filter. Follow these guidelines:

Replace the filter every 30 to 60 days if you have a standard 1- to 3-inch filter, own a pet and/or have allergies. Most dogs and cats shed, so even if you don’t have allergies, their fur and dander can clog up ordinary filters fast and block airflow. Even if you don’t own pets, as an allergy sufferer, you’ll appreciate the better filtering capabilities of a clean air filter, so replace it once a month.

Replace the filter every 90 days if you live in a pet-free home and don’t have sensitivities. Most ordinary filters are rated to last up to this long, so take advantage of your pet- and allergy-free status to stretch your filter to its maximum lifetime.

Replace the filter every 6 to 12 months if you live alone or rarely run the furnace or air conditioner. Single-occupant homes produce less dust and debris for the filter to trap, and when less air passes through the filter in temperate climates, the filter stay cleaner longer. You should still plan to check the filter every few months, but it’s likely you can go 6 to 12 months before changing it.

Benefits of Clean Air Filters

It’s important to replace your air filter based on these recommendations if you want to benefit in the following ways:

  • Enjoy utility savings by keeping airflow moving steadily.
  • Help your system last longer by reducing equipment strain.
  • Improve indoor air quality with a clean filter that can trap particles more effectively than a dirty one.

For more heating and air conditioning tips you can use every day, please contact Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions.


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