When to change home air filters

When to change home air filters
April 17 13:57 2017 Print This Article

It is important to have regular air filter changes in a home HVAC system. The rule of thumb is to check them every two weeks and change them at least once every month. The frequency varies depending on factors such as the location of the house, climate, number of occupants and pets, and the type of air filter system. If occupants are allergic to dust, pollen and other pollutants, then more frequent air filter checks and changes are required.

Regular air filter changes ensure cleaner air, a more efficient air-conditioning system, and significant savings on energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, changing air filters can lower an air conditioner’s energy use by up to 15%. Problems from air filter neglect include a shorter HVAC-system lifespan, higher electricity expenditure, respiratory issues, and accumulation of dirt in the air ducts. The following are some tips on when to change the air filters in a home HVAC system.


At least once every month

As mentioned earlier, the frequency will vary, depending on several factors. Houses located near roads and traffic get more vehicle exhaust pollutants than houses in the country. This warrants city homes more frequent air filter changes. Homeowners are encouraged to check their air filters consistently, even if they sign up for regular HVAC-system maintenance. This is because more dirt than expected may collect on the filters, and filters may need to be changed before a month rounds up.

In case of fire or flooding

It is standard protocol that HVAC system air filters are changed during flooding and fire remediation. However, given that a lot of work is done during these processes, it is easy to forget to change the filters. Soot and other chemicals collect on filters after a fire. Similarly, if flood water gets into the air ducts, dirt is deposited in the air conditioning system.

When there is a mold attack

Environmental hygienists advise homeowners to cover their air vents when there is microbial growth in their houses. Fungi, like mold, produce microscopic spores that can float around in the air. If there is mold in a house, chances are the HVAC system will have swallowed some spores. When the mold is removed, the air filters also need to be changed, since they will likely have caught some spores.

Dust storms, pets, cooking, and fireplaces

Having pets and fireplaces in the house increases the particles that end up on air filters. If there is a busy kitchen (especially one that sets off the smoke detectors), then air filters may need to be changed more than once a month. Homeowners in areas susceptible to dust storms should also check their filters more frequently.

The best way to ensure regular air filter changes is by setting up reminders. Some HVAC maintenance service providers allow clients to sign up for regular checks. Checking and changing the air filter can be a DIY job, but it is always better to have professionals look at the system.

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