A man removing an air filter from a spot in a ceiling.

How Often Should Air Filters Be Replaced?

When considering your HVAC system, you probably don’t even think about its air filter. However, it’s important to recognize that these filters can significantly impact the performance of your furnace and air conditioning system.

So, how often should air filters be replaced? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to answer this question as you might think. Various factors can impact how often you perform this simple but necessary maintenance task, such as the type of filter you use, your household’s needs, and how much you rely on your HVAC system.

Let’s discuss how often to replace HVAC filters when considering these factors.

What Is an HVAC Filter?

Most heating and cooling systems need to have an air filter installed. All-in-all, it’s crucial to mention that air conditioner and furnace filters are one and the same; you can use the same HVAC air filter throughout the year. These filters can usually be found near your indoor air handler or close to the blower compartment.

Replacing your HVAC filter on a routine basis can have a positive impact on your indoor air quality and energy bills. Consider using this helpful guide to learn more about how filters work and why they need to be changed regularly:

How Often Should You Change Air Filters?

When learning how often to replace HVAC filters, it’s helpful to start with the basics. As a general rule, many HVAC professionals will suggest changing your air filter at least once every 90 days. However, most air filter manufacturers will probably recommend checking your HVAC system’s user manual to see if there are any guidelines you should follow.

Are you struggling to find your HVAC equipment’s manual or want a better understanding of how often to replace an air filter to fit your specific needs? Let’s go over how often you should replace your filter according to a few common factors.

Filter Type & Material

If you want to know how often to replace HVAC filters, it’s usually best to start by identifying which type of filter you’re using. When it comes down to it, there are many types of air filters on the market. So it stands to reason that each of these filters will have different requirements for how often they need to be cleaned or swapped out.

Take pleated air filters, for example. Air filters made out of a pleated material tend to have more surface space to collect dust and debris than flat fiberglass filters. As a result, you can usually get away with replacing pleated filters less frequently than their fiberglass counterparts. Typically, you can replace pleated filters every 90 days, while fiberglass types should be swapped out every 30 days.

Household Needs

Believe it or not, household size can impact how often air filters should be replaced. If you have a larger family, you should consider changing the filter on a more frequent basis — such as every 60 days or sooner — to keep up with the amount of dust, debris, and pollen that’s constantly being tracked into your home.

You’ll also want to consider replacing the filter more frequently if you have many pets or have family members with allergies and asthma. As you probably already know, pet hair usually contains dander. This pet dander is typically removed from the air via your air filter, but if the filter becomes clogged or dirty, there’s a good chance that dander will recirculate throughout your home. Unfortunately, pet dander is a common allergen that can trigger asthma and allergies.

Whether you have pets or have family members with allergies and asthma, you should replace the filter every 30 days or so. This way, you can rest assured knowing that your air filter will be able to handle all the pollutants that pass through it.

HVAC System Use

If you’re still wondering how often air filters should be replaced, you’ll want to take a look at your HVAC system use. It’s understandable if you heavily rely on your air conditioner or furnace, as these can significantly improve your comfort throughout the year. However, frequent filter changes may be necessary if you constantly use these systems.

Keep Your Home Comfortable & Safe With Magnolia!

Hopefully, this guide has made it easier for you to know how often to replace HVAC filters. As you can see, this simple maintenance task can have a significant effect on your heating and cooling system performance, indoor air quality, and overall sense of comfort.

Now that you know how often air filters should be replaced, it’s time to think about your HVAC system’s needs. Fortunately, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling is here to help with your home furnace services and more!

Why wait to improve your comfort? Contact us today to get in touch with our gas furnace installers, HVAC maintenance experts, and more in the Washington, DC, area.