How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

If you're like the majority of homeowners, you probably don't give much thought to the air filter in your house until you recognize it’s likely time to replace the current filter with a new one. By that point, it’s usually well past the ideal timeframe and the filter becomes so clogged that it  prevents proper particle filtration from happening.  Unfortunately, many individuals don't replace their air filters more often than once a year.

Replacing your home's air filter regularly is essential to preserving the quality of your HVAC system  and ensuring the wellbeing and health of your family. So when it comes down to it, how often should you really replace your air filter? If you're looking for additional information, today’s blog post can provide some additional insight into how often you should be changing your air filter based on the number of people in your home, pets, and sensitivities to allergens. 


Factors Affecting How Often You Change Your Air Filter

The standard rule of when to change your air filter is every three months, or with every season change. While this is a good starting point, different factors of your home life can give a more accurate representation of when you should be changing your air filter. . 

So, how often should you be changing your air filter? The answer that is most often given to this question is, "It depends."

It is dependent on a number of different factors, such as the kind of air filter you have, the size of your property, the number of people who live there, and whether or not any of them suffer from allergies.

The frequency with which you should replace your air filter may be determined by a few tell-tale signs, which are as follows:

Number of People in Your Home

When more people live in your house, more dust, pollen, and microscopic debris will float in the air. It's possible that you'll need to replace your filter more often if you have a big family , as opposed to someone who lives by themselves.

The explanation for this is rather straightforward: the more people in your house, the higher the  pollutants that will be generated.  This can be from cooking, cleaning, laundry, skin cells that everyone sheds, outdoor pollutants that are brought in . 

As air is circulated inside your home, your HVAC air filters will trap these pollutants which buildup and start blocking the filter.  To guarantee that the air your family breathes is healthy and free of contaminants,  you will have to change your air filter more often.

Pets in the Home

Your pets, in addition to the humans in your home, may affect the frequency with which you need to change the air filter. This is because every time one or more of your pets goes in or out of the home, they bring in dirt, debris, pollen, and other particles from the outdoor environment.

This includes allergens such as pollen, dust, mold and other particles that may rapidly accumulate in your filter and create difficulties for those who suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions. Additionally, pets generate hair and dander, which may contribute to the clogging of your filter.

As a result, if you have pets in the house, you will need to be conscientious about changing your pleated air filters regularly. It is possible that you may need to change them as often as once per month or two, depending on the number of pets that you own. If you have a cat specifically, you may also notice that the more often you change your air filter the more likely it is to help reduce that nasty litter box smell. 

Number of People and Pets in a Household Affect Your Air Filter



Depending on the people and pets in your household, you’ll notice some family members are more susceptible to allergies than others — causing you to need to change your air filter more often than usual. If, for instance, a member of your family is sensitive to dust mites, you will need to pay more attention to the state of your air filter and ensure it is clean.

Dust mites are microscopic creatures that thrive in unclean settings and they are often seen in residences that do not have effective air filters. Therefore, if you or a family member has an allergy to dust mites, it is necessary to change the HVAC filter on your intake vents, your air conditioner or furnace regularly.

Pollen is another common allergy that may cause you to want to change your air filter more frequently.  As a consequence, if you have a family member who is affected by seasonal allergies, you will need to pay extra close attention to the frequency with which you replace your air filter during high-allergen seasons.

Where You Live

Your location  also likely to play a role in how often you need to change the air filter in your home. For example, if you live in a very dry region, there is a larger probability that dust will collect more rapidly in your filter. This is because dry air traps more dust.

When the air is dry, the particles in the environment are able to more readily float about and wind up in your HVAC systems. Consequently, it is essential to maintain a regular check on your filter and to ensure that you replace it as soon as it gets clogged with debris.

On the other hand, the likelihood of mold and mildew growth in your filter increases significantly if you reside in a region that has high relative humidity. These compounds flourish in humid settings and have the potential to build up rapidly inside your air conditioning filter.

If you live in a location with a lot of humidity, you should regularly replace your HVAC filters.  It is possible that you may need to replace the air filter in your home as often as once per month or two, depending on the degree of humidity in your region.


Changing Your Air Filter Can Help Allergies


Time of Year

Another factor that can affect how frequently you need to replace your air filter is the time of year. The time of year often ties back to the part of the country that you live in. As we previously mentioned, in many  states, spring is often accompanied by an excess of pollen and allergens. While these don’t cause an allergy flare up for all individuals, the build up in the filter can make it so that you have to change your filter sooner than you normally would. 

Another huge factor is that some regions are more susceptible to wildfires during certain times of year. If you live in an area where there is a greater chance of fires during the summer or fall, you may notice that your air filter requires changing sooner than normal. In order for your filter to push high-quality air out through your HVAC, your air filter will cling to particles of smoke so that they don’t pass through. To keep the air quality in your home at a healthy level, you will need to change your air filter more frequently.

How to Tell If Your Filter Needs to Be Replaced

Now that you have a better idea of the factors that contribute to when an air filter needs to be replaced, it’s time to learn more about the ways to recognize when a filter is past its prime. When it comes to determining whether or not the air filter in your HVAC system needs to be replaced, there are a few telltale signs that you may use as a guide.

1. Time

Every month, be sure to visually inspect the air filter in your HVAC system and change it if it seems to be changed . The majority of people who own HVAC systems clean or change air filters once every one to three months, on average.

The rationale is that having a debris-free filter will enable your HVAC system to operate more effectively by allowing it to efficiently circulate air throughout your home.

In addition, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system will have a longer lifespan if you keep the filter clean since it will prevent dust and other particles from entering the system and causing damage to the system.

2. Condition of the Air Vents

If you find that the air vents in your house are dirty, this indicates that the air filter in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system needs to be replaced. This is because the air filter is not performing its function adequately, allowing dirt and other particles to get past it and into the vents.

There is a possibility that the air filter in your house is clean, despite the fact that the air vents in your home may be unclean. However, in this particular scenario, it is quite probable that the vent itself is unclean and will need cleaning.

If you find that the air vents in your house are unclean and the air filter is also dirty, this indicates that you should change the air filters.

If your filter has to be changed, you should be sure to get the appropriate size for the HVAC cooling system. One of the most aggravating things is when you go to the trouble of changing your air filter, only to discover that the new one does not fit correctly. You can check out a variety of air filter sizes here to find the best one for you. 

3. Changes in Air Quality

If you have seen a change in the air quality in your home, it is most likely that the air filter in your HVAC system needs replacement. If this is the case, you should do so as soon as possible.

Utilizing an air quality tester makes it simple to determine the state of the air in your home at any given moment. 

If you feel  that the air in your home is stuffy or feels like it has stopped moving, this is a sign that it may be time to check your filter and replace it with a clean one. 

Poor air quality can have detrimental influence on your health, which is why it is essential to regularly replace the air filter in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

4. Changes in Airflow

If you have noticed that the airflow in your house has changed, this is another indicator that the air filter may be dirty and need to be replaced.

When the air filter is clogged with dirt and debris, the airflow in your house will be restricted. As a result, you may find that some  rooms in your home are not heated or cooled evenly.

In some cases, you may find that the airflow in your house is completely blocked when the air filter is dirty. If this is the case, it is very important to replace the air filter as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your HVAC system.


Low Airflow Is a Sign It’s Time To Change Your Air Filter


5. Higher Energy Bills

If you have noticed that your energy bills have increased, even though you have not changed your habits, this indicates that the air filter in your HVAC system may be dirty and need to be replaced.

When the air filters are  clogged with particles, your HVAC system has to work harder to circulate the air in your house. As a result, your energy bill will be higher than usual. Changing your air filters more regularly can potentially help you save money on your energy bills.

6. A Dirty Filter

One of the fastest ways to determine if it’s time to change your air filter is by simply taking it out and visually examining  it by holding it up to a light source. A brand new, or lightly used, air filter will have little to no dust or debris on it and light can pass through it. On the other hand, an air filter that is past its prime and ready to be replaced will often have a thicker layer of dust right on the top of it and will not let light pass through in large sections of the filter. 

When inspecting your air filter, a little bit of dust is okay, but may indicate that you are getting closer to needing to change the filter. .If you see a thick layer of dust and debris and does not let light through it’s definitely time for a new filter to be installed.


Look at Your Air Filter to See If It Is Time To Replace


What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Filter

There are various reasons that changing your air filter on a regular basis, and on time, is so important. Below are a few of the things that happen when you don’t change your air filter regularly. 

Poor Air Quality

One of the most important reasons to change your air filter frequently is to avoid poor indoor air quality in your home. When the air that’s circulating through your home has to first pass through a dirty filter, it’s no surprise that the flow and thus the quality of air drops. By ensuring filters are regularly changed, you reduce the chances of having to breath in air that hasn’t been fully filtered of pollutants. Changing your air filter regularly can positively impact your air because you’re breathing cleaner air with less harmful particles. 

HVAC System has to Work Harder 

A dirty air filter can also reduce the air flow within your house or business. Given that the air being fed through your HVAC system is going to have to pass through a dirty air filter, it will often take longer for the air to pass through, leading to a decrease in the airflow. 

When that air flow decreases, your HVAC system will need  to work harder to feed more air into the home. Unfortunately, all of that air will also be met with a dirty filter that is hard to pass through, so the air flow will continue to remain low and the HVAC system will continue to work hard, with little benefit.

Find Your Filter Replacement at Airzey

Air filters are essential in keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently and for having good indoor air quality in your home. If you have noticed any of the signs listed above, it's essential to replace the air filter in your HVAC system as soon as possible.

If you’re someone that struggles with staying on top of how frequently your air filter needs to be changed, Airzey has your solution. Our subscription service ensures that you receive a new air filter right when it’s time to replace the old one. Our air filter subscription service is tailored to you and the needs of your home, so you can enjoy high-quality air without the hassle of remembering when it’s time to change filters and the different sizes of filters in your home.  

At Airzey, we have a wide selection of air filter sizes to choose from.. All our filters are high capacity, high efficiency MERV 13 filters with high airflow.  The team at Airzey is always happy to help, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions about finding the right air filter for your home.