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How Often Should I Change My Filter?

The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system plays a crucial role in keeping our homes comfortable and maintaining indoor air quality. One important component of the HVAC system is the air filter, which helps capture dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles. However, many homeowners are unsure about the proper frequency for changing their HVAC filters. Here is a comprehensive guide on how often you should change your HVAC filter to ensure optimal system performance and indoor air quality.


Factors Influencing Filter Change Frequency

There are several factors that determine how often you should change your HVAC filter. These factors include:

  1. Filter Type: HVAC filters come in various types, such as fiberglass, pleated, washable, and high-efficiency filters (e.g., HEPA filters). Each type has a different lifespan and efficiency level. High-efficiency filters tend to have longer lifespans but may require more frequent monitoring.
  2. Environmental Factors: The air quality in your area and the level of airborne particles can impact the filter’s performance. If you live in an area with high dust levels, pollen, or pet hair, you may need to change the filter more frequently.
  3. Occupancy: The number of people living in the house and the presence of pets can affect the rate at which the filter accumulates dust and particles. More occupants and pets typically lead to faster filter clogging.


Guidelines for Filter Change Frequency

While filter change frequency can vary depending on the factors mentioned above, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  1. Disposable Fiberglass Filters: These filters are typically the least expensive but have a shorter lifespan. It is recommended to change them every 30 days or once a month.
  2. Pleated Filters: Pleated filters offer better filtration efficiency and typically last longer than fiberglass filters. They usually require replacement every 90 days or every three months. However, it’s a good idea to check the filter regularly and change it sooner if it appears dirty.
  3. High-Efficiency Filters (e.g., HEPA Filters): High-efficiency filters can last longer due to their superior filtration capabilities. They may have a lifespan ranging from six months to a year. However, regular inspection is still recommended to ensure optimal performance.


Monitoring and Inspection Tips

To determine when it’s time to change your HVAC filter, follow these monitoring and inspection tips:

  1. Check Monthly: Check your HVAC filter at least once a month. If it appears dirty or clogged, it’s time for a replacement.
  2. Visual Inspection: Hold the filter up to a light source. If you can’t see light passing through or if the filter appears gray and filled with debris, it needs to be changed.
  3. Airflow and Efficiency: If you notice reduced airflow from your vents or your HVAC system seems to be running longer and working harder than usual, a dirty filter might be the culprit. Changing the filter can help restore proper airflow and system efficiency.


Leave it to the Experts

Regularly changing your HVAC filter is crucial for maintaining optimal system performance and indoor air quality. When it’s time to have your filters replaced or you want help tracking when it’s time to replace your HVAC filters, let S&L Prime help. We’ll help your HVAC system run smoothly and cleanly all year round. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.