Replacing the air filter in your AC unit is a part of general home maintenance. We’re not biased as AC repairmen. It’s literally what keeps your system working properly and keeps indoor quality at its best. When this task isn’t done as often as it should be, it can cause your energy bills to skyrocket or potentially contribute to other (costly) maintenance issues down the line. But how often do you REALLY need to change your air filters at home?
How Often Do I need to Change AC Filters?
The short answer is…it depends. The general rule of thumb for commonly used pleated air filters is to replace them every 90 days. You can potentially stretch them to 120 if you’re never at home. As your filter traps more dust, dirt, and allergens from the air, filter efficiency decreases. The more people or pets in the home the more often you’ll need to change the filters in your ac unit.
Reasons to Change Out the AC Filters
Several factors that could contribute to changing out air filters more (or less) frequently. These include:
The type of air filter you use. Less expensive fiberglass filters should be changed every 30 days. On the other hand, if you’re using higher-end pleated filters, you can go up to six months before replacing depending on home usage.
If someone in your home has asthma or allergies. Those who are susceptible to allergies are more sensitive to airborne particles than those without. If you have an asthma and/or allergy sufferer at home, change your filter every six weeks to ensure superior indoor air quality.
If you have pets. Cats and dogs shed, so pet dander is an inevitable part of pet ownership. If you have furry friends, change your home air filter at least every two months. Generally, cats and dogs shed most when winter turns to spring and summer turns to fall, which are the key times to replace your filter.
If you run your AC often. It’s Florida and it’s hot, so more than likely you’re running your AC constantly. Because of this, you should invest in a better-quality air filter or be prepared to change your air filter every few weeks (especially if you’re using a builder-grade fiberglass filter).
How can I Tell if My Air Filter Needs to be Replaced?
If you’re still not sure when how often you should change your filter, take it out every few weeks and look! Is there a musty odor? Is it covered in dust? If your air filter shows only a subtle layer of dirt and the filter material is still visible, it’s still in good working condition. When it gets beyond that point is when it should be replaced.
Look for a visible, thick coating of dirt that is covering most of your filter’s surface. When in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of replacing your filter. It’s a very small price to pay to maintain energy efficiency and improve indoor quality. To save time (and a little money) buy two packs or in bulk to keep replacements on hand!
For Regular AC Unit Maintenance
We know you can handle changing out your air filters. For everything else for your AC maintenance, emergency repair, even your office, you can trust the dependable technicians at Integrity Home Solutions. We serve all of Tampa Bay including Brandon, St. Pete, Carrollwood, and Westchase. If you need a hand from a licensed & insured AC service, call us 813-328-1424.