Changing HVAC air filters must be done regularly to ensure efficient, accurate performance of your home’s heating and cooling systems. However, there are a number of factors that affect how often this task must be performed in each home. To determine how frequently you need to change your air filter, it is helpful to know the standard guidelines and the factors that affect filter life.

Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating explains the basic recommendations for changing air filters as well as the advanced factors you need to take into consideration.

Guidelines for Changing a Furnace Filter

Most filter manufacturers include a recommended filter lifespan within the instructions that come with your filter purchase.

  • Cheap, fiberglass filters need to be replaced monthly
  • Pleated media filters need to be replaced after 3 months of use
  • 1- to 2-inch filters need to be changed after 3 months of use
  • 4-inch filters need to be replaced after 6 months of use
  • 5-inch filters need to be changed after 12 months of use

Factors to Consider When Replacing a Filter

The factors that affect the frequency of filter replacement are unique to your household and lifestyle:

  • Pet owners: Pets seem to leave a flurry of hair and dander all across our homes, but of course we love them anyway! Pet owners need to change filters about every two months. If there are multiple dogs and cats in the house, you may want to change the filter even more frequently.
  • Allergy and asthma sufferers: If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, changing air filter components more frequently is of great benefit to them. Changing air filters once a month or every other month ensures your HVAC system is always equipped with enough filter power to continuously filter contaminants out of the indoor air supply. Your vulnerable family members benefit due to fewer triggers within the indoor environment.
  • Square footage: The size of a home impacts the usable life of an air filter. Smaller homes run fewer HVAC system cycles to achieve comfortable temperatures because there is less space to condition, which preserves filter life for longer. On the other hand, bigger homes run more cycles, and air filters become clogged faster.
  • Smokers: Having smokers in a home affects how often to change the filter. For a typical, one-inch filter, you’ll want to change it every two months if there is one smoker and every month if there are multiple smokers.
  • Dust: If your home is typically very dusty, consider replacing one- and two-inch air filters every month. Three- to five-inch filters should last two months in dusty conditions.

Improve Air Quality and Efficiency with Sanborn’s

Changing air filters is necessary if you want your air conditioner and furnace to operate efficiently without excessive energy waste. Clean filters also help boost indoor air quality in the home, but they may not be enough to tackle all the contaminant issues faced in your household. Contact Sanborn’s today to learn more about our indoor air quality solutions, which help remove more contaminants from the air supply in your home and remove some of the burden off of your HVAC filter.