How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

We spend 90% of our time indoors, so the most important thing you can do for your home or office is to change your air filter regularly. Not only does this keep your air clean, but it also helps your HVAC system run more efficiently. So how to change HVAC filter, and how often should you change your air filter? That depends on various factors, including the type of filter, quantity of pets, the size of your home, indoor air quality, level of air pollution and the MERV rating.

The Type of Filter

The type of filter you have installed in your HVAC system will affect how often it should be changed. Most air filters are disposable and should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Filters of high-efficiency pleated media will last longer than those with a standard fiberglass filter. If you have a permanent, washable air filter, it should be cleaned every 1-2 months and replaced every 6 months to ensure proper airflow and cleanliness.

The Quantity of Pets

If you have pets in the home, you will need to change your air filters more frequently than if you do not have pets. Pet fur, dander and other allergens are regularly stirred up into the air by our furry friends, so it’s important to keep your filter clean. Depending on your home or office size, you may need to change your air filters every 1-2 months if you have a pet.

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The Size of Your Home

The size of your home is also important when deciding how often to change your air filters. Larger homes will require frequent filter changes due to the higher volume of air that must be circulated and filtered. If you have a smaller space, you may only need to change your filter every 3 months.

Indoor Air Quality

If you or someone in your home is particularly sensitive to allergens, you may need to change your air filters more often. Poor indoor air quality can cause symptoms like headaches, sneezing and coughing, so it’s important to keep your filters clean. In these cases, you should change your air filters at least every 1-2 months to ensure clean air for everyone in your home or office.

Level of Air Pollution

If you live in an area with high levels of air pollution, then you may need to change your filter more often than usual. Pollutants like dust, soot and smoke can quickly clog up air filters, reducing their effectiveness. Changing your air filter every 1-2 months in areas with high air pollution is best.

The MERV Rating

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating measures the effectiveness of an air filter by looking at its ability to capture particles of different sizes. An air filter can capture and remove more particles from the air with a higher MERV rating. Filters with a higher MERV rating will need to be changed more frequently than those with a lower rating.

It’s important to change your air filter regularly to keep your home or office clean and for your HVAC system to run efficiently. Depending on the type of filter, quantity of pets, size of your home, indoor air quality and the MERV rating, you should change your air filters every 1-3 months. Researching and understanding how often you should replace your air filter can significantly improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency.