How Often Should You Change the Filter in Your Air Conditioner?

You should replace the filter in your air conditioner approximately every 90 days, if you don't have allergies. However, AC professionals generally recommend changing it every 45 days for maximum efficiency. Be sure to replace it with the correct size and type of air filter. If your air conditioner is working properly, you can remove the filter and buy one that is identical to it.

In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home (e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets in the house, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20-45 days.

Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can expect to change filters every 9-12 months. The more you use your home, the more often you need to change the air filter. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, its efficiency decreases. Find out below if you should replace the filter more often. Now that you have a good filter, there are a combination of factors that affect how often you replace it.

Every three weeks is a good rule of thumb if you have multiple pets, live in a very dusty or contaminated area, or have severe allergies. How often you need to change your air filters depends on how often you use your home. For a little-used vacation home, you could get away with changing filters once a year. However, for a typical suburban home, you'll probably want to change filters at least every 90 days. But that time frame changes depending on other circumstances such as location, pets, allergies or respiratory conditions, age of system and equipment, etc.

The only downside to choosing a filter with a high MERV rating is that it can reduce the speed of airflow in your air conditioner. If someone in your household has a condition that affects their lungs and breathing, change your filters more often. Connecting the filter change to your electric bill makes sense because clean filters improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system and lower your electricity bill. Much of that hair passes through the air and passes through the air conditioner filters, quickly clogging it. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. No matter what HVAC system you have, each unit needs a properly tuned quality filter to keep indoor air quality clean and your unit running at peak efficiency.

These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering your HVAC system or circulating in the air. Any use will cause a certain amount of dirt to be trapped in the air filter; after all, that's its job. The only type of filters that trap allergens and spores are HEPA, or high-energy particulate air filters. To keep air quality under control and your home clean, you'll want to replace the filter with a minimum interval of 2 to 3 months. They are inserted in a specific location inside the return air duct (usually a large pull-down ventilation in the hallway or other place in the house).

But how often do you really need to change the air filter in your HVAC system? Learn four factors that affect how often you should replace the air filter in your air conditioner. Furnaces and air conditioners in smaller homes need to pump less air for the same amount of temperature change, which can mean less frequent filter changes. All the air that circulates through your HVAC system, whether for heating or cooling your home, will eventually pass through the air filter. On the other hand, if you use your HVAC system almost constantly, you'll need to change the filter every few weeks (especially if you use fiberglass filters).