When Is the Best Time to Change Your HVAC Filters?


It’s a question most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. “How often do I really need to change my HVAC filter?” Like changing your car’s oil, it’s a task you probably hate doing but know it’s critically necessary to keep your system running smoothly. Here are some things you need to know.

The Right Frequency of Changing Your HVAC Filters

For less expensive fiberglass filters, a general rule of thumb is to change them every 30 days. On the other hand, for those high-pleated filters, they should be changed every six months.

Changing your filters prolong not only the life of your HVAC system but also extends its efficiency. Filters need to be changed because they accumulate dust and dirt, which causes more dust and dirt to be pulled into the system rather than being filtered out. After a while, the inside of your home’s heating and cooling system can become clogged, making it work much harder to keep the temperature at the right level.

If you want to prevent dust and other particles from clogging up the filter and making your HVAC system run less efficiently, filter replacement is excellent.

The Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Your HVAC Filters

There are several factors that affect the need to replace your HVAC filter, including:

  • Usage Frequency

Those who use their HVAC equipment more frequently should change their filters. The longer you wait to change the filter, the more the dirt and dust have a chance to accumulate.  

  • Home Size

The size of your home and the square footage will also affect the need to change the filter. Those with larger homes with many rooms will need to change the filters more often than smaller homes.  

  • Indoor Air Quality

The indoor air quality will also dictate the time frame in which you will need to change the filter. If you suffer from allergies, a compromised immune system, or live in a home with a family member who smokes, you will want to change your filter more often. This is because the filter will become clogged with the particles within the air of specific allergens.  

How to Know If It’s Time to Change Your Filters

If you’re unsure if you should replace your filters, there are a couple of ways to tell.

  • Pets

Pets often come into contact with allergens, fleas, and other things which can be sucked directly into your HVAC system by the filter, and then released into your home’s air. Additionally, hair and pet dander, collected by the filter, can be stirred up by the fan and become airborne.

If you have a pet, you should change your HVAC filter every 30 days, or more often if it’s a dirtier season or you have pets that shed a lot of fur.

  • Children

When you have young children in your home, you want your house to have healthy air quality. Young children with underdeveloped immune systems and respiratory systems are more susceptible to airborne bacteria and viruses.

Keeping your air filter clean helps to prevent these things from becoming airborne. We recommend changing your HVAC filter every 30 days if you have children in your home.

  • Odors

If you notice your indoor air is smelling bad and you’re not sure why it could be that your HVAC filter needs to be changed. Change the filter, and see if the odor is still noticeable. 

The Bottomline

Now that you know how often you should change your HVAC filter, you’ll be able to keep your home’s air clean and comfortable. Not only will you be able to breathe easier, but your HVAC system will also be working more efficiently.

Get quality heating and AC service in Alabaster, AL here at Mainline Heating & Air. We have been in the industry since 1989. Since then, we have provided reliable heating and AC service and quality products to Birmingham, Pelham, Alabaster, and Jefferson/Shelby county areas. Get in touch with us today!

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