Your AC filters are important because they remove pollutants from the air in your home. When the air filters become clogged, air won’t be able to pass through them and may cause your AC to stop working properly.

So, how often should you change your air filter?

Generally, you should change the air filters every 90 days, and once per month during the cooling season. There are certain high end pleated filters that are designed to last as long as 6 months, but standard filters should be changed more frequently. The longer you go without changing the air filters, the more dirt will accumulate on them and the worse your AC will function.

Considerations That Impact How Frequent You Should Change Your Filter

While AC filters should normally be changed every 1 – 3 months or so, there are certain considerations that can shorten that time frame. The following can all reduce the time in which AC filters might require a change.

Does Anyone in the House Have Allergies?

You should change your air filters every 6 weeks if anyone in your home has allergies or asthma. People with allergies or asthma are much more sensitive to buildups of dirt and dust in your home. By changing your air filter every 6 weeks, you can make sure that your air quality is as strong as possible to minimize allergy symptoms and the risk of an asthma attack.

Are There Pets in the House?

Pets are wonderful additions to the family, but our furry friends shed dirt, dander, and other particles around your home. These particles are often kicked up into the air and reduce your indoor air quality. Change your AC air filter every 2 months if you have pets. You should also get in the habit of vacuuming your carpets and rugs every week, because that’s where pet debris usually gathers.

Are There Younger Children in the House?

Replace your air filter every 2-3 months if you have young children. According to the American Lung Association, children exposed to polluted air are more at risk of developing asthma and other lifelong respiratory problems. Make your indoor air as safe as possible for your kids and have the AC filter changed every season.

To sum it up:

When Should You Change Your AC Filter?

How often you change your AC filter depends on the type of filter you have. Generally, there are fiberglass filters and pleated air filters.

If you live in a hot and humid place, like Southwest Florida, it’s advisable to change your AC filters once per month during the summer. You’ll be running your AC very often in the summer and it will accumulate debris quickly.

No matter where you live, you should change your AC filter just before the summer begins. This is also a good time to schedule an annual AC tuneup (HVAC technicians will always change out your air filter during an annual servicing). Doing AC maintenance before the summer begins is a good way to prepare your HVAC system for heavy usage and reduce the risk of a breakdown in the hottest time of year.

Why is Changing Your AC Filter Important?

Changing your air filter is important for 3 reasons.

Things That Can Impact the Life of Your AC Filter

Although most AC filters last between 30 – 90 days, there are a few variables that can impact the lifespan of your filter.

How to Tell When Your AC Filter Needs to Be Changed

The easiest way to tell whether or not your AC filter needs to be changed is to manually check the filter.

The filter should be working fine if there’s only a thin layer of dirt / debris on it, and if you can see the material the filter is made from.

Conversely, you’ll need to clean or change the filter if there’s a thick layer of dirt that mostly or completely covers the underlying filter material.

Here are some indicators that your AC filter needs changing:

How to Change Your AC Filter

Changing your AC filter is one of the few AC maintenance tasks you can do on your own. You can change the filter in 5 easy steps.

  1. Get the Right Air Filter Replacements: Make sure your replacement AC filter is the right size for your HVAC unit. Check your current filter if you’re not sure which size you need—the specifications should be printed on the size. If they’re not, use measuring tape to get the dimensions or just bring in the old filter to size the replacement properly.
  2. Shut Off Your System: Go to your thermostat and switch the HVAC system to OFF. You can also turn off the system at the circuit breaker.
  3. Locate the Air Filter: On most HVAC systems, the air filter will be located in either the return duct or the indoor unit (which is often in the basement, utility closet, or attic). Check the user manual if you’re unsure or call your local HVAC company for assistance.
  4. Replace the Air Filter: Remove the grill that covers the filter; you may have to use a screwdriver. Carefully remove the old filter and insert the new air filter in its place. The filter should have arrows printed on it that tell you which way it should be inserted. Replace the grill when you’re done.
  5. Test the AC: Turn the HVAC system back on and set the temperature high or low so that it runs through a cycle. Make sure the system is cooling or heating your home as it should be.

How to Find and Buy a New Filter

How do you know which air filter to buy for your AC? Here are some tips:

Replacing the filter generally isn’t a difficult task but working on HVAC systems can be daunting. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Hurricane AC if you need professional guidance.

MERV Scale

Air filters are rated on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. MERV rates air filters by their ability to block particles.

Filter Reusability

Reusable air filters are ideal because you can just wash them when they get dirty—no need to go out and buy a brand-new filter. Reusable air filters are also more eco-friendly because they reduce waste.

Contact Hurricane Air Conditioning if You Need AC Service

Keep your AC clean and energy-efficient by scheduling an annual AC tuneup. Our certified HVAC technicians will change your air filter and do other maintenance tasks that reduce the risk of breakdowns and increase the lifespan of your unit. Hurricane AC services both residential properties in Southwest Florida so call today to schedule an inspection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content