How often should I change my A/C Filter?
Change your A/C filter right now 3......2......1? done? I'm serious.
This might be hard to hear but you are probably not changing your AC filter enough. Knowing exactly how often the filters on your home should change is contingent on two major factors.
1. How dirty/dusty is the air in your home?
2. The type of filter your HVAC uses
Lets start with filter types. There are many options out there. If you are using just standard 1" filters on your house those should be changed monthly at least.
You might have a 4-5" media filter (installed at the furnace) that will be in the attic, closet, or basement next to the furnace or air handler. These can be changed every 3-6 months.
Some homes (very few) have electronic air cleaners. These too should be cleaned every 3-6 months.
These time tables are generic. If you have lots of pets (especially big dogs) you probably need to change your filters more often. More debris/dust/dirt = changing the filters more often.
You might be thinking this is overkill and that your AC system has been "working fine" without changing the filters this often.
Why even change the Filter on your HVAC system?
Filters are designed to protect your HVAC system and keep it clean (see video). The cleaner the system is kept then it will be less likely to fail and will be able to operate more efficiently. Air conditioners are designed to transfer heat (ie remove heat and moisture from your house). So if the evaporator coil becomes coated with dirt/fur/debris etc it will inevitably take longer and work harder to do its job. This would be like trying to cool off while wearing one of those awesome 80s sweat suits.
Think about it. Having a dirty evaporator coil and filter will put additional pressure on other components like the motors, capacitors, compressor etc. If all these components work longer and more often then of course the likelihood that they will fail sooner goes up.
Most air conditioners can handle some beating. We go into homes every day that should have cleaner filters. The mentality that "it seems to be fine" falls short and will catch up to us. Maybe not today but eventually..... and it will probably be at a very inconvenient time.
Sometimes we just plain forget to change the filters. What if I told you there were some simple methods that will remind you to change the filter?
Tips for changing your A/C Filters
- Amazon Prime - Use subscribe and save. They will send you filters at whatever interval you like. Replace when they arrive.
- Siri - Ask siri to remind you every month to change them.
- Mission Maintenance - Enroll in Ongoing system maintenance.