How Often Should I Replace My Air Conditioning Filters?

One of the most common questions people ask HVAC technicians on a daily basis is about air conditioning filters. How often should they be replaced? If your air conditioning system’s filter is clean, it will run more efficiently. Homeowners throughout the region want to know how often to swap out the old and insert the new. The answer varies. For many, once per month is generally the best advice. However, there are factors that determine just how long that filter will last.

AC Filter Factors

The majority of air conditioning filters have recommended guidelines on the packaging. Most are good for three months or 90 days. If you look around the home improvement store, you’ll find many are only engineered for one month. Some are meant to last up to one year. The general rule of thumb is to change the filters anywhere from one to three months, no matter the type of filter. Set a firm schedule in your phone or on a calendar somewhere in the house and stick to it.

Some key factors to consider when it comes to changing an air filter include:

  • The type of air conditioning system and filter required.
  • The overall air quality inside of your home.
  • Whether you have any pets in the home.
  • The number of occupants inside the house.
  • The general air pollution in the area or whether construction is going on nearby.

To break things down a little further:

  • If the home is seldom used or is a single occupant home without pets or allergies, you can replace the filter every 6-12 months.
  • A typical suburban family home without any pets should swap out the filter once every 90 days.
  • If there are pets in the house, the filter should be changed every 60 days.
  • If there are multiple pets or someone has allergies, the filter should be swapped out every 30 days.

How to Change an Air Filter

If you aren’t sure how to properly change an air filter, consider the following instructions:

  • Find the return air vent within your home.
  • Remove the screws or tabs to pull the vent from the wall or ceiling.
  • Inspect the interior for a filter. If you locate one inside, pull it out and jot down the size.
  • Verify the filter type as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new air filter of the same size and type.

When it’s time to replace your dirty air filter, call Duggan's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®. We perform exceptional air conditioning maintenance, including changing old filters, to ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently year-round. Give us a call at (706) 914-1617!