Your AC air filter may not occupy your thoughts every day, but it’s important to change it regularly. Here’s how to tell when it’s time to replace the air conditioner filter and instructions for doing so.
How Often Should I Change My AC Air Filter?
Follow these guidelines to pinpoint the ideal timeframe for changing your air filter:
- Every 30 days: Standard 1- to 3-inch air filters generally start collecting dust after 30 days in use. That’s why HVAC contractors recommend checking the filter monthly, especially if you have one or more pets, allergies, or a respiratory condition.
- Every 60 days: Whether you’re allergic to pet dander or not, plan to replace your filter after no more than 60 days if you have a furry animal in your home. The extra hair blowing through your air ducts clogs the filter faster than if no pets were in the house.
- Every 90 days: Most filters are rated to last up to 90 days. If you and your family live in an “average” home with no pets and no allergies, you can get away with stretching your filter to its maximum lifespan.
- Every 6 to 12 months: In unusual situations, such as single-occupant or vacation homes, you don’t need to change the filter as often. Plan to check it every few months, but you probably only need to change the filter once or twice a year. Some advanced media filtration systems are also rated to last six months or longer. When in doubt, check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How to Replace the Air Filter
By remembering to change your filter regularly, you can expect more efficient AC performance for lower cooling bills and less system wear and tear. Your indoor air quality also improves because a clean filter can catch more airborne particles. Here’s how to change the air filter in your HVAC unit:
- Remove the old filter. If you can’t locate it, ask an HVAC technician for help.
- Purchase a new filter of the same size and type. If you want a more advanced filter, speak to an HVAC technician for advice.
- Slide the new filter into place and begin enjoying the benefits of a clean air filter.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Air Filter?
If you allow your air filter to become clogged with dust and debris, you put yourself at risk for the following consequences:
- The system could run hotter, causing parts to wear out faster.
- Your energy bills could increase.
- Your home could become dustier and more difficult to clean.
- Indoor air quality might suffer, causing you to have more allergy and asthma attacks.
- The AC may struggle to keep your home comfortable.
Changing the AC filter is just one part of recommended air conditioner maintenance. If it’s been more than a year since your last inspection, contact Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling at 801-890-2037 to schedule services in Orem or Draper, UT.