The Importance of Regularly Changing Your Air Filter

Learn about the recommended frequency for changing your air filter and how it can affect the efficiency and performance of your HVAC system and car. Find out how factors like location, pets, and usage can impact this timeline.

The Importance of Regularly Changing Your Air Filter

As an HVAC expert, I am often asked about the frequency of changing air filters. The general consensus is that the longest time you should go without changing your air filter is the recommended 90 days. However, there are certain factors that can affect this timeline, such as the location of your home, the presence of pets, and the age of your system and equipment. In dry and dusty climates, it may be necessary to change the air filter more frequently. If you have pets at home, it is recommended to change the filter every 60 days or every 2 months.

For homes with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, it is best to change the filter every 20 to 45 days. On the other hand, vacation homes or vacant homes that are not used often may only need to change filters every 9 to 12 months. The frequency of changing air filters also depends on how often you use your home. The more you use it, the more frequently you will need to change your air filter. For basic 1 to 3 air filters, manufacturers usually recommend changing them every 30 to 90 days.

However, if someone in your family has allergies, it may be necessary to change the filter more often or use a higher quality filter. Fortunately, changing the air filter is one of the easiest and most inexpensive items of routine maintenance for your HVAC system. It is important to note that using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than what is recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may affect their performance. The MERV rating is a scale from 1 to 20 that evaluates how well an air filter can remove particles from the air. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at removing contaminants. However, a higher MERV rating can also restrict airflow in your home, so it is important to find a balance between efficiency and airflow. Just like how a dirty air filter can affect the efficiency of your HVAC system, a dirty engine air filter can also cause problems for your car.

The engine air filter keeps the air that the engine “breathes” clean and free of dirt, dust, and other particles. If neglected for too long, a dirty air filter can cause ignition problems, reduce gas consumption, and even shorten the life of your engine. When it comes to changing the engine air filter, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Air filters usually have a MERV (minimum efficiency notification value) that determines the type and size of contaminants they can protect against. It is important to choose an air filter with the appropriate MERV rating for your specific vehicle. Aside from protecting your HVAC system and car, changing air filters regularly also has other benefits.

For one, it can help reduce wear and tear on components such as the fan motor. It can also improve the overall air quality in your home or car by keeping contaminants out of the air. So what happens if you let that recommended 90-day period go by without changing your air filter? While it may not cause irreparable damage to your system, it can affect its efficiency and performance. This is why it is important to follow the recommended timeline for changing air filters. Like vehicle air filters, cabin air filters should also be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance. These filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering the air conditioning system or flowing through the air.

If you have pets at home, choosing a hypoallergenic or low-shedding breed can also help reduce the frequency of changing cabin air filters. In conclusion, the recommended time to change your air filter is every 90 days or every 3 months. However, this may vary depending on certain factors such as location, pets, and usage. It is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and choose an air filter with the appropriate MERV rating for your specific system or vehicle. Regularly changing air filters can help protect your HVAC system and car, improve air quality, and ensure efficient performance.

Wilma Melen
Wilma Melen

Infuriatingly humble pizza specialist. Unapologetic communicator. Wannabe music buff. Passionate internet evangelist. Total travel scholar.

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