When it comes to maintaining the best indoor air quality, especially when you have young children in your home, you'll want to replace your air filter with a minimum interval of 2 to 3 months. Pleated air filters are more expensive at first, but they are also more efficient at trapping particles and can last up to 90 days, depending on use. The longest time you should go without changing your air filter is the recommended 90 days. However, if replacing the air filter simply isn't possible for an extended period, going beyond 90 days won't cause irreparable damage to your air conditioning system.
But it will put unwanted pressure on your HVAC system, resulting in poor air quality and air circulation. In addition, the weather in your location will influence how regularly you'll need your air filter to work. If you live in a temperate climate and your air conditioner works a few hours a day, a filter could last several months. On the other hand, if you use your air conditioning system almost 24 hours a day, you'll need to replace the filter every two weeks.
Before we talk about WHEN you should change your air filter, let's start with the WHY. Air filters trap pet hair, dust, and other irritating particles so that the air conditioning system returns fresh, clean air to your home. You will need to change your HVAC filter more often when you have allergies and asthmatics. For example, the presence of pets and people with allergies requires an air filter with a higher MERV rating to collect more particles.
Air filters are usually made of spun fiberglass (the same as attic insulation) or & pleated paper framed with cardboard for added stability and rigidity. The HVAC air filter helps keep indoor air clean by trapping mold particles, pollen, and other contaminants moving through the system. After a period of smoky days with poor outdoor air quality, inspect the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced. However, these appliances are often built with smaller filters and, therefore, may need to be changed as often as a filter in a larger home. By following proper filter replacement programs, you'll enjoy breathing clean, fresh air and stay healthy. If you live alone, without pets, and with good surrounding outdoor air quality, the manufacturer's filter change recommendations will likely work well for you.
The ideal is to change your air filter every three months; however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter. On the other hand, expensive pleated filters can work well with a replacement once every three months or six months. During these months, pollutants in your home may increase but the air filter doesn't trap them. A house that is occupied most of the time will require more frequent use of the air conditioning system and therefore will need to replace the filter much sooner compared to a house with no occupants.
To ensure optimal indoor air quality and keep your home clean and healthy for everyone living in it, it's important to follow proper guidelines for changing your air filter. The general consensus is that you should replace your home's air filter every 3 months or 90 days. But if replacing it simply isn't possible for an extended period of time, going beyond 90 days won't cause irreparable damage to your HVAC system.