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How Often Should I Change My AC Filter?

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Keeping your HVAC system in good condition is vital to ensuring your year-round home comfort. One of the simplest yet most important tasks for ensuring your system’s performance and longevity is changing your AC filter regularly.

In this blog, we’ll explore the role of an air filter in your HVAC system, discuss why changing it regularly is essential, and provide some standard recommendations on how often you should replace your filters.  

What Does an Air Filter Do for Your HVAC System?

Before we dive into the frequency of changing your AC filter, it’s important to understand the significant role that air filters play in your HVAC system’s performance. An air filter is the first line of defense against airborne particles and contaminants, preventing them from penetrating the system.

Below are just a few things that your air filters do for your home and HVAC equipment:

  • Improve indoor air quality: The primary function of an AC filter is to trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens, ensuring the air circulating in your home is clean and healthy.
  • Protect the HVAC system: Airborne particles can accumulate on vital components of your HVAC system, such as the evaporator coil and blower, leading to reduced efficiency and potential breakdowns. The filter acts as a shield, preventing these particles from causing damage.
  • Maintain energy efficiency: A clean filter allows air to flow freely through the system, reducing the workload on your AC unit or furnace. This, in turn, helps maintain energy efficiency and lowers your utility bills.

Why It’s a Good Idea To Change Your Air Filter

Now that you understand the role an air filter plays in your HVAC equipment, let’s explore why changing it regularly is so important:

  • Improved efficiency: Over time, filters get clogged with the debris they’ve trapped. This restricts airflow, making your HVAC system work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Changing the filter ensures efficient operation.
  • Lower bills: A clean filter allows your system to operate efficiently, reducing energy consumption. This can lead to noticeable savings on your monthly utility bills.
  • Extended system life span: By protecting your HVAC system from dust and debris, a clean filter can help prolong its life span, potentially saving you from costly repairs or replacements.
  • Better air quality: Regularly changing the filter ensures that your indoor air remains free of pollutants, which is especially important for people with allergies or respiratory issues.

Recommended Frequency for Changing Your Filters

The frequency of changing your AC filter depends on various factors, including the type of filter, household conditions, and your HVAC system’s usage. In general, these recommendations apply:

  • Standard 1–3″ fiberglass filters: These filters are the most common and should typically be replaced once every one to three months.
  • Pleated filters: Pleated filters offer better filtration and should be replaced every three to six months.
  • High-efficiency (HEPA) filters: If you have a high-efficiency filter, they can often last up to six to 12 months, but it’s essential to check them periodically.
  • Household conditions: If you have pets, allergies, or live in a dusty environment, you may need to change your filter more frequently.
  • HVAC usage: Heavy usage — especially during extreme weather conditions — can also warrant more frequent filter changes.

It’s good practice to inspect your filter every month and replace it when you notice it’s dirty or clogged. Remember that a dirty filter compromises your HVAC system’s efficiency and negatively affects your indoor air quality.

Trust Air Flow Designs With Your AC Maintenance Needs

Sticking to a routine maintenance schedule is one of the easiest ways to ensure your air conditioner’s filter is changed at the proper intervals. Air Flow Designs is uniquely prepared to meet this need, offering comprehensive cooling tune-ups that Florida families can trust to keep their systems in proper working condition.

With over 60 years of dedicated service to the Central Florida area and a team of NATE- and EPA-certified technicians, we’re confident in our team’s ability to maintain your AC system long-term.

Call our team at (407) 831-3600 to schedule an air conditioning tune-up today or ask about our available maintenance plans

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