How Often Should You Change Your AC Filter?

If you don't suffer from allergies, it's recommended to replace your air conditioning filter every 90 days. However, air conditioning professionals usually suggest changing them every 45 days for maximum efficiency. Make sure you replace them with the correct size and type of filter. If your air conditioner is working properly, you can remove the filter and buy one that is identical.

The frequency of filter changes may vary depending on the location of your home (e.g. dusty and dry climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets at home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and in the case of households with several pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, it's recommended to change the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or empty houses that aren't used much can wait to change filters every 9 to 12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more often you'll need to change your air filter.

The only way to be sure how often the air filter needs to be changed 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'll need to re-evaluate if you're going to have a new pet or if the outside air quality has been poor. For an underused vacation home, you can get away with changing the filters once a year. However, in the case of a typical suburban home, it's best to change the filters at least every 90 days.

This time frame may change depending on additional circumstances such as having pets or living in a dusty environment. A general rule for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to change them every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, its efficiency decreases. For a full-time residence with more than one occupant, it's not recommended to spend more than 90 days without changing the air conditioner filter. The ideal is to change your air filter every three months, however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to replace an old filter.

An average family of 4 people would need to replace their air conditioning filter more often than a single person. Children are more sensitive than adults to indoor air pollutants, such as mold, dust mites, dander and pollen, so make your home an oasis by using quality air filters and replacing them before they become too clogged and dirty. As a general rule, it's a good idea to replace your HVAC system's air filter every month. Regardless of the size of your home, adding a cat or dog to the equation means that you should replace your air conditioner filter at least every 60 days. If you have allergies, you can reduce your symptoms by using a high-quality air filter and adopting a more frequent replacement program.

In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable filters for HVAC systems for residential, commercial and general hospital use. If the dirty air filter is completely covered with dust and dirt, it's a good idea to replace it even if it hasn't reached the end of its recommended lifespan. However, it's easy for busy people to overlook this task, and some may find that it takes several months before they remember to replace their air conditioning filter. A single person without pets may extend the time between filter changes, while a busy household with multiple pets may want to stick to a monthly filter change schedule.

Cora Koci
Cora Koci

Certified travel expert. Subtly charming web trailblazer. Devoted coffee fanatic. Amateur tv specialist. Wannabe coffee fanatic.