A person inserting an air filter into an HVAC unit

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

When It’s Time for Change

Did you know that you have direct control over your air quality and the efficiency of your air conditioning system? One of the easiest ways to maintain clean air in your home and save on energy bills is by taking care of the air filter. Here’s what you need to know about changing your air filter.

What Does the Filter Do?

The air filter for your AC removes dust, debris, and other small particles from the air before it circulates throughout your home. It traps these particles in a filter, so the air you breathe is as clean as possible.

Why Does it Need to be Changed?

The most common air filters are disposable pleated filters, which are cheap but do a great job at removing particles from the air. Over time, particles, dust, pollutants, etcetera, accumulate in the filter, causing less open space for air to move.

As this blockage grows, it reduces the ability of the filter to perform its function. Particles won’t get trapped, and they will find their way into the air you breathe. Also, built-up debris on your filter will cause inefficiency for your AC. Since air doesn’t move freely, your system sends more of it to compensate, costing you more money in your energy bills.

When to Change the Filter

The general guidance is to change your filter every 30 to 90 days. The frequency in which you change your AC filter depends on a few factors:

Home Size & AC Use

The amount of air needed to cool your home will determine how quickly the filter builds up with debris. Larger houses or families with more members will likely need to change the filter more often.

And how often you use the AC is a significant factor. In scorching Phoenix summers, it’s running almost constantly, so the filter will need to be changed more often during this period. In winter, you may not need to change it as much.

There are also many different types of filters, and one style does not fit all. For example, MERV 13 air filters are the best in the market, but...your ductwork must be designed to work with these filters or they will do more harm than good. It’s recommended to consult with a licensed HVAC contractor to determine the best filters for your home.

Another tip - if you can see through the filter, it’s probably not the best for protecting your cooling and heating equipment. You’ll most likely experience decreased performance and that means higher bills and less comfort.

Pets & Allergies

If your home has furry friends, you’ll need to replace the filter more often. Hair, dander, and odor particles will block up the filter quicker than in homes without pets (but we still love them!).

Likewise, if you suffer from allergies, keeping your filter clean can provide some relief. You can catch those allergens before they reach you!

Your Phoenix AC Experts

Plumbing & A/C Medic is the premier AC service provider in the Phoenix area. Call us today at (602) 975-2306 for more information on how we can serve you!

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