With the seasons changing, it’s important to think about HVAC system maintenance. Part of maintenance is making sure that you’re changing your air filter often enough, but the problem is that most people are unaware of how frequently they should replace it. Honestly, there isn’t an entirely straight-forward answer, as there are several factors involved – such as the type of filter, whether there are pets in the home, the level of overall air pollution, and more. Generally, it’s recommended that filters are changed every 1-3 months.
It’s important to determine how often you should change your air filter, for both your wallet and health. The U.S. Department of Energy found that replacing a dirty filter reduces AC energy consumption by 5-10%, and a dirty filter will circulate pollutants throughout your house. While we can recommend how often you should plan to change your filter based on your lifestyle, you should also check yourself to see if it becomes dirty earlier than expected.
Filters come in different shapes and materials, and vary greatly in quality. Generally, the less expensive your filter, the less it will do to clean your air and the more frequently it will need replaced. Most filters indicate how often they need changed on the packaging. You can look at the percentage of particles that different filters will capture to compare how it will affect air quality.
If you have animals in your home you will need to change your filter more frequently. Keep your animals well-groomed to mitigate the pet dander in the air, and to maximize your filter’s life. It’s also important to keep the seasons in mind as a pet owner; you may need to change your filter more often during the summer, when animals tend to shed.
If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, you should replace the filter more frequently than recommended for optimal air quality and to avoid aggravating their symptoms. If your filter is dirty, it won’t effectively capture allergens.
Overall Air Pollution
It all comes down to the overall amount of air pollution in your house. If you’re in an area with construction or city with high pollution, you should change your filter more frequently. If you have a single-person household without any pets or a vacation home you rarely visit, you can replace your filter less often. When in doubt take a look at the filter, if it’s noticeably gray and you can see dust and dirt, it’s definitely time for a change.
It’s important to get your HVAC system maintenanced to prevent expensive issues from arising and to keep it running efficiently. If you live in the Gainesville area, give Bounds Heating and Air a call at (352) 472-2761 to schedule your maintenance appointment, or visit our website to learn more about our preventative maintenance services.