How Frequently Should I Change My Home Air Filters?

Mar 01, 2021

Air filter replacements can easily become forgotten, despite how essential they are to your health and the health of your home. One friendly reminder every year is pollen. As you notice your air (and everything else) tinted yellow, you might take this as a sign you should protect the air in your home. So how frequently should you be changing out your home air filters? The experts at Newcomb and Company are here with insight.

Air Filter Consideration 1: Home Population

On average, you should change your filter every three months (or 90 days). However, your needed air filter replacement schedule may change depending on elements of your home population: how many people live in your home and their air quality needs.

The more people living in your household, the more dust, irritants, and allergens you will be producing. Cooking, cleaning, and other normal household activities can impact your indoor air quality. For larger families, you may consider air filter changes every two months.

Additionally, if you have any individuals living in your home suffering from allergies, vulnerable immune systems, or sensitivities, you may consider more frequent air filter changes, such as every six weeks.

Air Filter Consideration 2: Pets

Your beloved pets may be negatively impacting the air inside of your home. Animals shed and produce dandruff, which you may see circulating throughout your air. Their fur also often traps extra allergens and carries them in from outside.

Pets can cause an odor in your home and irritate your allergies, though your HVAC filter is designed to help. However, pets will cause your air filter to clog more quickly than homes without pets. As such, homes with pets require more frequent air filter changes—often every two months.

Air Filter Consideration 3: Your Area

Another primary consideration for air filters’ changing frequently is your area. Do you live in a highly-polluted area with poor air quality? Is pollen dusting your entire city? If so, you may need more frequent air filter changes. Conversely, homes in rural areas experiencing great air quality may require less frequent air filter changes.

Air Filter Consideration 4: Your Air Filter Type

Finally, your home air filter type will influence how frequently you need to change your filter. Most homes use disposable electrostatic filters—they are highly effective and easy to manage. However, there are also washable electrostatic filters, which only need to be replaced every few years but do need to be washed every few months.

There are also cheaper fiberglass filters, which often need to be replaced every 30 days. More expensive pleated filters may last up to six months—depending on your brand and the factors listed above.

The Verdict: How Frequently Should You Change Your Filters

So how frequently should you change your filters? Ultimately, the best way to know is to check your filters monthly. You can adjust your cadence to your home and your air quality needs. It may not be a consistent routine—in some periods, such as with high pollen count or increased pet shedding—you may need to change your filter regularly, while others may require less frequent replacements.

Why Change Your Air Filter?

Changing your home air filter is essential for your health and the health of your HVAC system. Here is a look at some of the primary reasons you should keep up with air filter changes:

Air Quality and Air Filter Changes

As the name suggests, air filters filter the air circulating throughout your home. Without proper filtration, you may allow contaminants to freely circulate in the air you breathe. Poor air quality can have negative effects on your health and the health of your family. According to the National Weather Service, poor air quality is responsible for an estimated 60,000 premature deaths in the US each year.

Clogged Air Filters and HVAC Damage

When your air filters become clogged, it will be harder for your system to pass air through. Clogged filters will put added stress on your equipment, leading to more frequent HVAC damage and a shorter HVAC lifespan. Long-term, you will need to shell out extra funds for HVAC repairs and more frequent replacements.

Higher Energy Bills

When your HVAC equipment has to force air through a clogged filter, it will require more energy as it works harder to function. This will cause your monthly energy bills to increase and your home efficiency to spiral.

Inspections and Warranties

If you are a renter, it may be written within your contract that you are responsible for frequent air filter changes. You could be liable for HVAC damage if your property owners find that you have not maintained your air filter changes during an inspection.

For homeowners, HVAC warranties are often contingent upon proper system care—the most foundational of which is air filter changes. As such, skipping air filter changes could void your warranty and leave you paying for the resulting damage.

Which Size Air Filter Do I Need?

The easiest way to tell what size your replacement air filter should be is to look at the air filter you are taking out of your vent. The size measurements will be written on the side. If you tossed the old filter away before buying your replacement, you simply need a tape measure.

In inches, air filter sizes are measured length x width x depth. So if the inside of your vent measures 12 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 1 inch deep, you will need the filter that reads 12 x 24 x 1 on the side.

Does Air Filter Size Matter?

Yes! Air filter size matters. Small air filters will allow unwanted air infiltration around the filter shortcomings. Air filters small in both length and width may even get pulled into your system. Whereas large air filters will not securely fit inside of your vent.

Newcomb and Company

Newcomb and Company is your source of all things heating and cooling. For enhanced indoor air quality, we can install an air purification system into your HVAC system. We also offer air filter checks and changes during your seasonal maintenance visit. Our experts proudly serve homes throughout Raleigh, Wilmington, and surrounding cities, including Garner, Knightdale, Clayton, Cary, Leland, Castle Hayne, Carolina Beach, and beyond. You can make your appointment with our experts to get started today!

Need help? Call now.