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How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter: A Homeowner’s Guide

Your home air filters need to be changed often for a few reasons, all of which impact your air conditioner’s efficiency. For one, replacing your filters can lower your energy bills.

Second, it can also help in prolonging the life of your heating and cooling system and lowering maintenance costs. Sadly, many homeowners never pay attention to how often they should be changing the air filters.

image - How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter: A Homeowner's Guide
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter: A Homeowner’s Guide

Some end up forgetting or are unsure how often they should do it. This article provides some guidelines that can be helpful when changing air filters.

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Manufacturer Guidelines

When you buy a new filter, it often comes with some recommendations on when and how often you should change it. These recommendations are usually based on the type of air filter you buy.

For instance, pleated filters can be changed less frequently than fiberglass filters. As a homeowner, this should be the first guideline you consider.

The recommendations range from a month and can go up to one year. However, there are times when you may have to increase or decrease the days recommended by the supplier based on a couple of factors as discussed below.

Factors Affecting Your Air Filter Change Frequency

As stated above, you may not always follow the product guidelines. This is because factors that affect air quality in each home differ.

Some factors that may cause you to adjust the recommended frequencies include:


Having pets can be a good thing for pet lovers, but pets can affect the air quality in your home negatively if care is not taken. With pet dander, you may have to change your filters more frequently. The frequency can be higher for people with more than one pet.

Household size and kids:

This is another factor that can affect air filter change frequency. If you have kids or a big household, you may have to change your filters more often than someone who is living alone.


If someone in your household has allergies, you should strive to change your air filters more often. When the allergy symptoms start to show, you should check your filters and have them replaced immediately.

Outdoor and indoor air quality:

This is the concentration of contaminants such as cigarette smoke and dust.

Signs That You Need to Change Your Filters

The key to identifying the most appropriate time to check your filters is by doing monthly checks. Dirt build-up is the key sign to look out for.

The dirt build-up can be higher in some seasons than others – as a result, the change frequency for your air filters may not be consistent throughout the year.

Increasing energy bills can also be major signs that your appliance is not functioning effectively due to clogged AC filters. If you do not know where your filters are located in order to check them, ask your HVAC maintenance service provider or the Internet for guidance.

Since you may have to change your filters more often than prescribed by the supplier, it’s always good to have some spare filters at hand.

Suppliers such as FilterBuy understand this, and this is why they offer air filter subscription services and order flexibility to ensure homeowners have filters whenever they need them.

Thanks to their hundreds of filter size options, including those for 40 specific HVAC and air cleaner brands, you can easily find the right filter for your home.

DIY vs. Hiring an Expert

When it comes time to replace the filter, you may wonder, is this something I can do by myself or will I have to call in an expert? Well, you can do it either way.

The process is not complicated – all you have to do is get a new air filter, turn off your air conditioner’s power supply, remove the old filter, and replace it with the new one.

If you are not confident in your abilities, you can ask for help from an HVAC expert. If you choose to go the DIY way, remember you still need an expert to check on your HVAC regularly.

With expert HVAC check-ups, issues can be detected and rectified before they become serious. Regular maintenance can also prolong the life of your HVAC system.

Finally, when it comes to changing your air filter, ensure you choose the best fit for your environment. You can always ask for help from the air filter supplier when making your order.

Also, ensure you choose a good supplier who will deliver on time and offer great customer support. For instance, when you are upgrading to a new filter, find a supplier who knows the different types of filters well and is willing to help you pick the best one based on your current needs.

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