How Often Should You Change Your AC Unit Filters?

You should replace your air conditioner filters approximately every 90 days, if you don't have allergies, but AC professionals generally recommend changing them every 45 days for maximum efficiency. It's important to make sure you're replacing them 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. To determine how often you need to change your air filter, you should perform a visual inspection of the filter every month.

After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You may need to reassess if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. The frequency of filter changes 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 factors such as having pets or poor outdoor air quality. If you rarely use the air conditioner, you can wait up to six months to change the filter. A good way to remember it is to change it once in the spring and once in the fall. 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. If you have pets or poor outdoor air quality, you may need to replace the filter more often. Cats and dogs shed fur and have odors that can accumulate in their space, so it is necessary to change the filter every 2 months. The amount of filter changes needed also depends on how often you use your home. A vacation home where you only live part-time will need far fewer filter changes than a large family home with numerous occupants.

All the air that circulates through your HVAC system, whether for heating or cooling your home, will eventually pass through the air filter. When you change the air filter, you allow more air to flow through the system with lower energy consumption, resulting in better circulation, cleaner air and a lower electricity bill. If there is a visible layer of dirt that covers most of the filter surface and that is thick enough to hide the filter material itself, it is a sign that the filter has been in the HVAC system for too long. During times when you use your system frequently, you can even benefit from replacing filters every few weeks instead of every month. A good way to remember when to change your filters is to do it once in the spring and once in the fall. Many HVAC filters say on the package that a monthly program is a good idea to minimize dust and allergens.

If you live in a mild climate and only use your air conditioner or heater for a few hours a day, a filter could last the entire season or up to an entire year. If you answer yes to any of these questions: do I have pets? Is outdoor air quality poor? Do I use my HVAC system frequently? You'll want to replace the filter more often than recommended. Replacing a clogged air filter with a new one can reduce air conditioner energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent according to the U. S Department of Energy. There is no strict guideline, but if the filter shows only a subtle layer of dirt under which the filter material is still visible, then it's in good working order.