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How Often Should I Change My HVAC Filter?

Published on: May 1, 2020

How Often Should I Change My HVAC Filter?

HVAC filters keep your home’s air clean by removing impurities.  HVAC filters also protect your HVAC system from dust. Left unchanged, a clogged and also dirty HVAC filter can affect the health of your family and reduce the running efficiency of your HVAC system. 

So how often should you change your HVAC filter?

How often you should change your HVAC filter depends on your air filter type and other external variables. The following information offers guidance on a recommended replacement schedule.

Air Filter Type

The primary consideration of when to change your HVAC filter will depend on your air filter type. 

  • The standard 1-inch fiberglass filters are the most basic model and should be changed roughly every 30 days.  
  • A pleated filter is of higher quality and better at filtering out particles.  Depending on the MERV(minimum efficiency reporting value) rating and thickness, pleated filters only need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months.
  • An air purifier system is the most advanced air filtration system.  If you have a Carrier Infinity® Series Air Purifier or a Bryant Evolution™ Air Purifier, filters should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Other Variables

Other variables will impact the lifespan of your HVAC filter.  If your home has any of these factors, you should consider changing the air filter more frequently than stated above:

  • Multiple pets.
  • Larger home size.
  • In a bigger city.
  • Construction near your home.
  • Someone in your home has severe allergies, asthma or other respiratory illness.
General Guidelines

No matter what your air filter type or home situation, always check your air filter once a month. To check your air filter, first, turn off your system.  Locate the filter and remove it.  Inspect for dirt. If the filter has excessive dirt buildup, get it replaced ASAP. Finally, set a reminder on your phone to check the filter again in 30 days. 

When To Call a Professional

If you are confident in finding and replacing an air filter yourself, you don’t need to call an HVAC professional.  However, if you start to experience regular air quality concerns, it is time to call an HVAC professional. AC Southeast ® can locate a reputable HVAC technician in your area to assess your air filtration system and offer solutions.