How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

Learn how often you should replace your air filters based on factors such as location of your home, if you have pets or allergies/respiratory conditions, type of oven/HVAC system and more.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

A pleated air filter should be replaced every 30-60 days, while a 2-fold air filter should be changed every 3 months. A 3-fold air filter should be changed every 120 days, and a 4-fold air filter should be changed every 6 months. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets in the house, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months. For households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can usually wait to change filters every 9-12 months. The ideal is to change your air filter every three months, however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter.

An HVAC filter will only last one to three months on average. If you wait too long to change the filter, indoor air quality will suffer. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, the efficiency of the filter decreases. Your oven owner's manual will specify the best MERV rating for your oven and, in general, filters with a MERV rating of 6 to 9 should be changed every 90 days, while those with a MERV rating of 10 to 12 should be changed every 60 days.

With air conditioners, replace the filter every 30 days with cheaper fiberglass filters to avoid higher energy bills. A number of factors need to be considered when deciding how often to change an oven filter, and many filter manufacturers recommend how often your product should be replaced. Over time, the air filter accumulates dirt, dust, fur, and other contaminants that can be found in the house. Use a filter with a MERV rating of 12, such as the Nordic Pure filter (available on Amazon), if your oven can do it. Replacing filters regularly can keep homeowners and their families healthy through efficient air circulation. During periods of the year when HVAC equipment operates frequently, air circulates more times in the home compared to times when the HVAC system is used sparingly.

Consider replacing air filters after a major home renovation to keep the air clean and reduce the chances of costly maintenance repairs later on. This is especially true if homeowners begin to notice particles floating in the air and subsequently cause allergic reactions. Homeowners may forget to change HVAC filters for months, which can cause dust, debris, and allergens to build up. The deeper the folds, the more surface area the filter has and the more space it has to collect airborne particles, so it may not clog as quickly as a flat filter. For most people, the difficult part of changing the air filter is determining what type of replacement you should get.

Clogged filters not only negatively affect air quality in a home, but also force the oven to work harder to draw air into the system and thus shorten the life of the oven.