How Often Should I Change my HVAC Filter?

How Often Should I Change my HVAC Filter?

Over time, and with extended use, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems’ air filters will become dirty and clogged. Air filters are responsible for improving circulation, maintaining indoor air quality, and removing dust, debris, and contaminants from the air. When the air filter becomes too clogged to effectively do its job, it can cause problems with your HVAC system that not only affect your comfort, but your health as well.

That being said, how can you tell when your air filter needs to be changed? This is an important HVAC maintenance task, but how often should it be done? The answer will depend on a few factors, not least of which include the size of your HVAC system and how frequently you use it.

Some factors that affect how often you will need to change your HVAC filter include:

  • How often you use your heating or cooling system
  • The type of air filter your HVAC system uses
  • Whether or not you have pets in the home, and how many
  • How many people occupy your home
  • Whether or not any members of the home are smokers
  • How much air pollution exists outside the home
  • The type and size of your heating and/or cooling system

All of these factors are important because they determine how hard the air filter must work. Generally speaking, the harder it works, the more frequently it must be changed.

Average Frequency Guidelines for Changing Your Air Filter

While it’s impossible to say exactly when you’ll need to change your HVAC filter without first inspecting your unique heater or AC system, there are a few averages that can help you determine how often you’ll need to change the filter.

In most cases, homeowners find that they need to change their HVAC filter:

  • Every 90 days when living in an average suburban home with no pets
  • Every 60 days when living in an average suburban home with one pet
  • Every 20-45 days when living in an average suburban home with more than one pet
  • Every 20-45 days when a resident of the home has allergies/asthma
  • Every 6-12 months in single-occupant or vacation homes with no pets

The type of air filter you have will also determine how often it needs to be changed. Some filters are more efficient than others, and will need to be changed less frequently. You can learn more about choosing the right type of filter on our website!

How Can I Tell that My Air Filters Need to Be Changed?

In general, air filters need to be changed whenever they become dirty. A dirty air filter can lead to an array of problems, including increased illness and respiratory problems, reduced heating and cooling efficiency, higher energy bills, and poor indoor air quality.

There are a few signs you can look out for that indicate your air filter is dirty or clogged. These signs include:

  • There is excessive amounts of dust throughout your home
  • The filter is very dirty or visibly gray when you inspect it
  • Your HVAC system cycles for longer periods of time than normal
  • You have not changed the filter for longer than the recommend amount of time
  • You or members of your home are experiencing more severe allergy symptoms

If you notice any of these signs, or other indications that there might be a problem with your heating or air conditioning equipment, first locate and check the air filter. If it looks dirty, dusty, clogged, or discolored, it’s probably time to change it.

Need assistance with your heating or AC system in Central Oregon? Ponderosa Heating & Cooling can help! Call us at (541) 204-2775 today to schedule an appointment with our team!

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