Every once in a while we’re asked what is the most important thing that area homeowner's can do to secure their air conditioning and heating system between their seasonal PLUS Maintenance Tune-ups? The answer is simple this; remember to change the heating and air conditioning air filter. Changing furnace and return air filters is critical to the proper performance of your HVAC system, not to mention your home's air quality. Studies show that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks? We know it's the last thing on your mind, but this is really important stuff. Changing the air filters is not all that hard for most homeowners, but there are usually two challenges to actually completing this job:
- Knowing just how often to change your furnace or air conditioner filter.
- Remembering to change air filters when needed.
When To Change Your Air Filters
This is not a trick; simply put – when your air filters are dirty, change them. Choosing how often to change your air filters can depend on several factors:
- Type of filter your A/C system requires
- The overall air quality of your area home
- Pets – Birds, cats, dogs, hamsters (do you have one?), etc.
- Number of occupants in the house
- General air pollution in the area or construction taking place nearby
For your typical 1"-3" air filters, the manufacturer specs basically say to change them bi-monthly, which is in fact a great rule of thumb. However, general guidelines are not applicable to all. If you have to tolerate light to moderate allergies, you may need to upgrade the air filter or change them even more regularly than OEM specifications. On the other hand, if you're in a remote area, own a infrequently occupied home (like a vacation home) or an area where there are fewer cars around, replacing your air filters each year may be quite sufficient. Why do pets matter so much? They have a tendency to shed, which can clog your air filter fast. Clearly, the air filter is just doing its job by capturing pet hair and dander, but tremendously dirty filters can cause weak HVAC performance.
- Seldom used home or single occupant homes without pets or allergies: Change 6-12 months
- Typical suburban home without pets: Change every 90 days
- Add a dog or cat: Change every 60 days
- Multiple pets or have allergies: Change every 30-45 days
How To Remember To Change Air Filters
Here’s an easy way to stay on top of this; sign up for the Service Experts Email Club. When you do, you can elect to receive (or not) great email coupons and newsletters with a lot of tips and discounts on AC repairs and tune-ups. Plus, your email subscription preferences let’s you set a reminder to change your area home's air filter every 30, 60, 90, 120 or 365 days, or the date of your choosing.