The primary purpose of your home’s air filter is to keep dust and other contaminants from collecting on your evaporator coils and other parts of your HVAC system. Home air filters are for maintaining your HVAC system, improving your home’s air quality is just a bonus.
Air filters only need to be changed when they’re dirty.
How can you tell if they’re dirty?
Similar to a dryer lint trap, when an air filter is dirty you’ll see a visible coating of dirt or dust. A sure sign that you need to replace it is when you can’t see filter material and see a layer of gray dust instead.
Manufacturers typically recommend replacing your air filter every 30 days or 4-6 weeks. These time intervals are estimations of when the filter will start to become clogged.
There are many factors that can greatly influence these estimations. Check out our guide to learn the factors, averages, and more.
Factors That Influence How Often You Should Replace Your Home’s Air Filter
The following factors can influence how often you should change your home’s air filter:
1. Type of air filter: More efficient filters, like HEPA filters, trap more contaminants and will clog faster.
2. Size of air filter: Bigger air filters can trap more contaminants and typically last longer.
3. System usage: Using your AC more over the summer means more air, and contaminants, will be circulated through the filters.
4. Quality of the air in your home: If your air is not as fresh or clean as it should be, or you burn a lot of candles or incense, you’ll have to replace your air filter more often.
5. Pets: Pet dander and excess dirt clog filters faster than normal.
6. Number of occupants in your home: The more people you have in your household, the more often you’ll need to change the air filter.
7. Construction around or in your home: If your home recently underwent new construction, you’ll want to check your air filters very often to make sure they aren’t clogged. The materials used in construction can collect quickly in an air filter.
8. Allergy or asthma sufferers: If anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, you’ll want to change the air filter more often, even if it’s not completely coated in dust, and even consider using higher quality air filters.
9. Vacation home: A vacation home where the air conditioner is only used when you’re staying there for a few months a year will need to be changed much less often.
Check your home’s air filter monthly or every other month until you get a feel for your home’s routine.
Some typical scenarios and filter replacement estimates include:
If you have pets or allergies: Every 1-2 Months
Typical small family household with no pets: Every 2-3 Months
Single occupant with no pets or allergies: Every 4-6 Months
Vacation Home: Every 6-12 Months
Pro Tip: If it’s been a while since you turned on your air conditioner, check the filter first before turning it on.
Why Should You Change Your Air Filter?
A dirty, clogged air filter can cause significant problems for your home, including:
– Increase in energy bills
– Decrease in air quality
– Reduce airflow
– Make your AC system work harder than it has it to
– Wear out components of your AC system faster
– Require AC maintenance more often
Contact Blair’s Air for AC Service in Tampa Bay
When is the last time you checked your home’s air filter?
If it’s been a while since you last replaced your air filters, it might be time to schedule an AC maintenance appointment. An experienced HVAC technician can make sure your system’s components aren’t covered in dirt and grime and are running as efficiently as they should.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.