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. Be sure to replace 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. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. That 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 replacing 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 to 45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can usually wait to change filters every 9-12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more often you need to change the air filter. The only way to ensure how often you need to change your air filter is to 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 will need to re-evaluate if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. The ideal is to change your air filter every three months, however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old 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.
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 additional circumstances such as location, pets in the house, age of system and equipment. More cycles mean more filter passes and opportunities to trap contaminants, so filters typically fill faster during periods of heavy use.
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. Air filters typically have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Report Value) that determines the type and size of contaminants against which the filter will act. While these factors affect the frequency of air filter replacement, you should visually inspect the filter every month for excessive particulate buildup. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. If the dirty air filter is completely covered with dust and dirt, it is a good idea to change the filter even if it has not reached the end of its recommended life. Typical recommendations range from every 30 days for cheaper fiberglass filters (which often don't do a good job of filtering), to 6 months for high-end pleated filters.
The only type of filters that trap allergens and spores are HEPA, or high-energy particulate air filters. 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. Households with a pet should generally replace filters after two months; those with more than one pet may need to replace the filter once a month.