5 Things To Know – How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter? [Quick Answers]

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Giving you the best information when asking “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter”.

Changing your air filter regularly is the best thing you can do to improve your indoor air quality, lower your energy bills and extend the life of your HVAC system.  The general recommendation is every 30-90 days. But have you ever asked yourself, “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter?” We are here to help!

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5 Things To Know

  • Does someone in your household suffer from allergies or asthma?
  • Do you have pets or children in your home?
  • How often do you use your heating/cooling system?
  • What type of air filter do you have?
  • What is the outdoor air quality around my house?

Does someone in your household suffer from allergies or asthma?

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma it is critical that you change your air filter regularly.  Those that suffer from allergies or asthma are much more sensitive to poor air quality.  Dust, pollen, pet dander, pollutants and micro allergens can create breathing issues in persons that don’t suffer from allergies and asthma.  For those that do, it can trigger asthma attacks and persistent allergy issues.  When asking yourself “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter”, for those that suffer from allergies or asthma the answer is every 30 days.  This will maximize the air quality in your home and keep you breathing easy. Be sure to check out our MERV 11 Elite Filters. They are the absolute best at removing micro allergens, smog and other pollutants that other filters miss.

Do You Have Pets Or Children In Your Home?

The number of people, pets and children can drastically affect your indoor air quality.  The more people (especially kids) in your house means more dust, debris and air particles that need to be removed.  Even more so, pets can contribute a large amount of hair, pet dander and dust that needs to be removed.  We love our little furballs too, but they can be a mess!  If you have children and pets in your household, well you just got hit with the double whammy!  It is especially important to change your air filters regularly with children in the house. Young kids and especially babies are much more sensitive to poor air quality.  So, when asking yourself “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter” if you have pets and/or children the recommendation is at least every 60 days.  Check out our MERV 10 Superior Filters.  They are perfect for removing pet dander, pollen, dust and bacterias.  Great for those that have mini me’s and fur babies running around the house.

How Often Do You Use Your Heating or Cooling System?

If you are thinking the more your run your system the more frequently you need to change your filter…you’re right!  This can vary depending on where you live and what season it is. For example, those that live in the south run their AC nearly all day during the summer.  However, in the winter (or as we call it in Florida, summer lite) we may only run the AC during the peak hrs and rarely run the heater at all. For those that live up north, it could be the opposite for you.  So, when asking “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter”, consider the season. If its peak season for you we recommend changing your air filter every 30 days.  During non peak season you can go up to 90 days between changes.

What Type Of Air Filter Do You Have?

Another factor when asing “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter” is the type of air filter you are using.  Not every air filter is created equal and they are designed for different applications. We can generally group air filters into 3 different categories thin fiberglass filters, pleated filters and media filters.

  • Thin Fiberglass Filters– These are your cheap throw away filters.  They are usually made of a thin fiberglass and are blue or green in color.  When held up to a light you can see right through them. These filters will capture large particles like lint, dust and pet hair.  However they allow smaller particles like pollen, allergens, dust mites, bacteria and other micro allergens pass through. We don’t recommend using these filters, but if you do they need to be changed every 30 days.
  • Pleated Filters– Pleated filters are what you typically see at the home improvement stores or big box stores.  They are made from cotton or polyester blended fabric and are in an accordion style shape with a cardboard frame.  Depending on the type and rating, these filters can capture finer particles than the Thin Fiberglass Filters. Be careful though, some of the ones that capture the finest air particles can restrict air flow.  The material used is more dense to capture the particles, which makes it harder for air to pass through. This can cause your system to work harder and run longer resulting in higher energy bills and costly repairs to your system.  In addition, since these filters are made from organic materials (cotton, paper, cardboard) they are a breeding ground for mold, mildew, fungi, algae and bacteria. The organic material is a food source and allows these harmful organisms to grow and multiply right inside your household air system.  These filters need to be replaced every 30-60 days.
  • Media Filters– Media filters give your the best of both worlds.  Good air flow like the Thin Fiberglass Filters while also filtering out the finest particles like the Pleated Filters.  Media Filters have been used in commercial filtration applications for some time, but now are available for residential use.  These filters have a unique 3 layer filtration process that captures large particles and small micro particles alike, without restricting air flow.  In addition, all of our Media Filters are antimicrobial keeping harmful mold, mildew, fungi and algae out of your household air…unlike the pleated filters that act as a breeding ground for these organisms.  Media filters need to be replaced every 60-90 days.

What Is The Outdoor Air Quality Around My House

This is possibly the most overlooked aspect when considering “How Often Do I Really Need To Change My Air Filter”.  We don’t realize it but the outdoor air quality greatly affects our indoor air quality. If you live in an area where there is construction, smoke, smog, or other air pollutants nearby you may need to change your air filter more frequently.  A good resource to check is the Air Quality Index.  This index measures and reports Air Quality in real time throughout the US.  If you live in an area with a higher AQI or in an area that has construction, high traffic of vehicles etc. consider changing your air filter every 30 days.

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