How Often Should I Replace My HVAC Air Filters?

HVAC air filters help keep you and your family safe by filtering out airborne contaminants and ensuring your indoor air quality remains healthy. As you know, air filters are very important components of your overall air filtration system, but you may be wondering how often they need to be replaced. In this article, we will provide you with the information needed to make the best decision for your home. 

Replacing Air Filters

On average, you should replace your air filters every 3 months, but there are some instances where you may want to replace them sooner or later. Replacing your air filters is an integral part of your regular HVAC maintenance and should be performed routinely. Over time and through use, air filters get clogged and dirty with dust and other airborne debris that has been filtered out before entering your indoor air. 

Things to Consider

There are several factors you should consider before replacing your HVAC system’s air filters. Homeowners should first consider the MERV rating and design of their air filters as well as the size of their household. Certain air filters may be more appropriate for your home based on size, number of pets, and special circumstances like asthma or allergies. 

MERV Rating

All air filters have a minimum efficiency reporting value, also known as MERV rating. The MERV rating measures the product’s efficiency in filtering out animal dander, dust, and other airborne contaminants. Air filters can have MERV ratings that range from 1-16, with higher MERV ratings being more efficient in filtering out finer contaminants. Air filters with lower MERV ratings are less efficient in filtering out contaminants and may need to be replaced sooner than the average 3-month timeframe. 

Air Filter Design

What type of air filters are you currently using? Air filters come in a few different designs, with some lasting much longer than others. Standard air filters need to be replaced within 3 months of use, but higher quality filters, like those that are pleated, can last up to 6 months before replacement is needed. If you live in an area that is subject to high levels of outdoor air pollution, you may want to invest in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filters to ensure you are receiving the healthiest indoor air quality possible. HEPA air filters can last anywhere from 6-12 months, but homeowners should regularly check them to ensure they haven’t become clogged.

Household Size

Another factor you should consider when it comes to your air filtration system is the size of your household. The larger your house, the more often you will need to replace your air filters. HVAC systems have to circulate larger amounts of air in bigger homes, which means more air will be flowing through the air filters. As such, you may need to check your air filters more often if you live in a bigger home. Smaller homes are often much more efficient when circulating air, especially if you have a high-efficiency HVAC system. If you live in a smaller home, your air filters may need to be changed less often, but it is still important that you inspect them regularly to ensure your indoor air quality is healthy. 

Indoor Air Quality

The main job of HVAC air filters is to maintain good indoor air quality by filtering our airborne contaminants like dust, pet dander, and pollutants. Indoor air quality can be affected by many different things, including outdoor air pollution and pets in the home. If you live in an area that frequently experiences high levels of outdoor air pollution, you will need to be more vigilant with checking your air filters. If you have pets, you may also need to change the filters more often, because animal dander and fur often get trapped in the filters. 

In conclusion, it’s extremely important that all homeowners change their air filters regularly to ensure their indoor air is safe and healthy. Take these tips into consideration when selecting the type of air filters you want to use and learning how often you need to change them. 

For more information or to schedule a service, please Contact us today at (919) 348-4451. At Carolina Comfort Air, your comfort is our business!