How Often Should I REALLY Change My Air Filters?

How Often Should I REALLY Change My Air Filters?

How Often To Change My Home Air Filter Replacement?

We get it, there are a lot of mixed signals about how often you should change your air filter. The reality depends on the home and the different factors.

home air filter replacement

Home air filter replacement is a tricky subject.

There’s a lot of conflicting information online about how often you should change your air filter. Some sources say change it every month while other say every three months.

One could argue air filter companies say they want you to change filters more often so they can make more sales. After all, the global air filter market is expected to surpass $19 billion in 2020.

However, this is not the time to say “stick it to the air filter companies, I won’t change my filter.” There are plenty of reasons to change your filter regularly.

In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why you should change your air filter regularly and how to know how often you really should change your filter.

Why Change Your Air Filter

Changing your home’s air filter is a monotonous task. It’s also a task that homeowners frequently put off because they don’t have a replacement air filter on hand or keep forgetting to go to the hardware store to get one.

However, keeping up with that maintenance task is crucial for keeping allergens out of your home and keeping your HVAC system running at optimal level.

The main purpose of an air filter is to trap dust, allergens, and debris that circulate through your home.

While these might not seem like dangerous particles — there are tons of bad things to breathe in outside, anyways – they could be more dangerous than you think. The EPA found that indoor air pollutants can be two to five times more damaging than outside air pollutants.

Cleaning out as many particles as you can from the air can help alleviate allergy sufferers and lessen the impact of existing breathing problems like asthma. Regular changing filters can also help trap airborne viruses.

Another reason for a home air filter replacement is to help reduce the stress on your HVAC system. When you run your HVAC system with clogged filters, the system has to work hard which shortens its lifespan.

Preventative maintenance is crucial for your HVAC system, especially because average AC unit repairs can cost $336 on average. That can add up quickly if you’re not taking care of your HVAC.

When you reduce the amount of strain on your HVAC system, you’ll also notice that your energy bill goes down.

As you can see, spending the $25 on a replacement filter at regular intervals can help improve your respiratory health, reduce stress on your HVAC system, and save you money on energy bills. Well worth the investment, don’t you think?

So, How Often Do You Need to Change Filters?

Now that you know all the benefits of a regular home air filter replacement, you must be dying to know how often to change it. Well, the answer is it depends.

For the most part, how often you change your filter is going to depend on four factors.

1) How Often Do You Use Your HVAC System?

Depending on where you live, you might use your HVAC system heavily during one part of the year and hardly at all the rest of the time. During times of the year when you use the HVAC heavily, changing the filter once a month tends to keep your air cleaner. In the off-months, stick to changing it once every three months.

For example, if you live in Maine, you’ll use your heater heavily in the winter and likely won’t need AC in the summer. In winter, change the filter once a month and once every three months in the summer.

In the case of a vacation home that you use a couple of times a year, you can typically get away with changing the filter once a year.

2) Number of Home Occupants

The number of occupants, both human and animal, in your home will also factor into how often you should change your air filter.

If you have a large family, you should change your filters about once every two months.

If you have a pet or pets, you’ll need to change your filters more frequently. Cats and dogs track in tons of dirt and allergens, plus they produce a lot of hair.

For one pet, change your filter once every two months. If you have more pets, change your filter once a month.

3) Does Anyone Have Allergies?

As we mentioned, air filters help trap dust, pollen, and other allergens so they don’t continue to cycle throughout your home. A clean air filter can significantly alleviate allergies.

If a member of your family suffers from bad pollen allergies or has a respiratory condition like asthma or emphysema, change your filter once a month.

You should also consider the exterior climate. If you live in a damp or humid area, that can encourage mold growth in your home which can become airborne. A clean air filter will help trap those mold spores.

On that note, if you notice mold growth in your home, be sure to check that none is growing on your air filter.

4) Type of Air Filter You Have

The type of air filter you use will also determine how often you should change it. There are three types of filters: fiberglass, pleated, and HEPA.

Fiberglass filters are the most common filter and are the cheapest option. Pleated filters have a higher airflow resistance than fiberglass filters.

HEPA filters are considered the best as they only allow air to pass through them on a very fine scale.

HEPA and high-efficiency filters last longer and capture more particles. You can typically use the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine how often to replace them.

Beyond HE filters, you can also purchase filters that help capture airborne microbes or filters made specifically for allergy sufferers.


We covered a lot, so here’s a quick recap.

  • For single person homes without pets and no allergies, replace your filter every 3-4 months.
  • For large family homes and no pets, change the filter once every three months.
  • For a home with a pet, every 60 days.
  • For a home with many pets or someone with bad allergies, at least every 30 days.

Home Air Filter Replacement Made Easy

After reviewing all the factors that go into deciding when to make a home air filter replacement, you should feel confident in knowing exactly when to change your air filter. All the factors we discussed are easy to identify in your home and your filter timeline can be changed as necessary.

If you have questions about how often you should change your air filter, get in touch with us today.