When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner Filter?

It's important to know when to change your air conditioner filter. According to ENERGY STAR, you should check and change your air conditioner filter every month during peak season. However, it can usually be found along with other maintenance tasks that you can do on your own. Your best option is to ask your HVAC service technician to show you where the filter is located, how to remove the old filter and insert the new one, and how to get the right filters for your system.

If you want to improve the air quality in your space by eliminating pollen, mold, and other harmful contaminants, you should invest in HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 10 or higher. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. That may change depending on the location of your home (e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets in the house, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20-45 days. Usually, vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can expect to change filters every 9-12 months. If you have an electronic media filter, you don't need to worry about replacing the filter every 1-3 months. You can wait 6 months to a year before replacing it. You must replace it with the exact filter of the model.

This may require ordering it on the brand's website to get an exact match. As a provider of home warranty plans, we always want homeowners to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the correct filters. When you can replace the air filters in your home, you'll move towards cleaner air in every room. They are inserted in a specific location inside the return air duct (usually a large pull-down ventilation in the hallway or other place in the house). Dirty air conditioner or oven filters are the number one problem when forced air heating and cooling systems don't work properly. Once you find the manufacturer's specifications on filters, there are a variety of options you can buy that filter out different levels of dust, virus, and smoke.

Before starting with this DIY maintenance, be sure to consult your HVAC owner's manual to see what type of filter you need to purchase. With a central forced air heating and cooling system, the heat pump, oven, or air conditioning filters remove dust and allergens from the air before heating or cooling the air and returning it to your rooms. The unit filter should be changed by the homeowner at least every three months, but possibly more frequently if there is heavy use of the home or if there are pets in the house. If, by any chance, you don't have a regular HVAC service technician to ask how to change an AC filter, you've probably neglected other important maintenance tasks besides changing the AC filters. When reinserting the filter into the housing, make sure the arrow points away from the return and toward the air handler. In addition, a dirty filter that is exposed to condensation can become damp, which can cause mold to form that the HVAC system can spread throughout the home. When in doubt, the simplest solution is to ask your HVAC technician to provide you with the correct filters, or to show you filter size information so you can order them yourself.

With this knowledge in hand, you'll be able to keep your heating and air conditioning systems running smoothly for years to come. Clean permanent filters or replace disposable filters in the forced air system every six months, unless they become clogged with dust first. When it comes time for replacement, make sure that you get an exact match for your system so that it runs efficiently and effectively.

Kelli Hanners
Kelli Hanners

Wannabe internet aficionado. Proud social media ninja. Wannabe bacon trailblazer. Freelance travel evangelist. Wannabe twitter buff.

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