As homeowners, we may be puzzled about How Often You Should Change Air Filter in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC unit). Changing the air filter is necessary so fresh air can circulate in your home. Well, it should be changed every 3 months or every 180 days. But do you ever wonder why we have to replace air filter? Here in this article, we will answer all of the questions about when to change or What Happens If You Forget to Replace Air Filter and will also explain.
When There is a Need To Change Air Filter?
There is a lot of confusion about whether you should change your air filter every 2 months or every 3 months, 6 or 12 months However, you should change the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendation or if we listen to an expert, it says You should preferably change your air filter every 3 months, but there are certain factors to consider When Determining When Should You replace Air Filter, these are:
Type of air filter — The type of filter you use is the most important factor in determining how often you should change air filter. There are two main filter types to choose from fiberglass air filters and pleated air filters. Both are disposable, but there are some significant differences between them. These are the
- Fiberglass air filters are less expensive but less effective at collecting dust and particles in the air. They should be changed every 30 days or less.
- Pleated air filters are more expensive at first, but they are more effective at trapping particles and can last up to 90 days depending on usage.
However, the thickness of an air filter affects its longevity. A 1″ filter must be replaced more frequently than a 4″ filter. See the table below to replace air filter based on thickness:
|A 1||30-60 days|
|A 2||3 months|
|A 3||120 days|
|A 4||6 months|
|A 5||9-12 months|
When purchasing a new filter, keep this general guideline in mind to replace air filter more frequently—or less frequently.
What are the Factors That Led to Change Air Filter?
There are many factors that affect the air filters which led to changing them timely:
- Pets — Their impact on indoor air quality affects our family members because pets shed hair and dander, which mix into the air, and they track in dirt, pollen, mold, and other contaminants from outside, which can quickly dirt air filters. If you have a pet, check your air filter once a month and replace it when it becomes dirty.
- Allergies — If you have allergies, even the smallest amount of dust or debris in the air can cause reactions. You can reduce your symptoms by using a high-quality air filter and changing your filters every 50 days.
- Children — Replace your air filter every 2 months. If you have young children at home.
- Home use — If you use an HVAC system on a daily basis, you should replace the air filter every 6 months.
- Home Size — The size of the home also influences air filter replacement, if you have a large home, the air circulation of air through the furnace or air conditioner is greater, which may cause the air filter to become dirtier faster and necessitate more frequent or 4-month replacement, or vice versa for small rooms.
- Air Quality — If you live in a large city or near a wildfire, contaminants such as smoke, dust, and other debris will make their way inside and clog your air filter at a much faster rate, usually requiring a filter change every 3 months. Check your air filter and replace it if necessary on smoky days with poor outdoor air quality.
- Seasons — The replacement of air filters is also affected by the change of seasons. During the mild spring and fall seasons, your system will run less frequently, so your filter will not get as dirty as quickly, but it will get dirty quickly and trap more contaminants when the heating and cooling seasons come into play.
- Visual Inspection — To determine How Often You Should Change Air Filter, perform a visual inspection of the filter once a month and replace it as needed based on your inspection.
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Why is Changing an Air Filter Important?
An air filter, as we all know, traps pet hair, dust, and other irritants in your system and returns fresh, clean air to your home. It is important to change air filter if you do not want to face the following problems.
- Health concerns — The first and most important reason for changing the air filters are for health reasons. Dust and allergens can circulate throughout your home if your filter isn’t working properly, causing allergies and respiratory illnesses.
- High electricity bills — When the filter becomes clogged with a lot of dust or particles, the unit has to work harder to pull dust from the air in order to cool or heat the room, which increases the amount of energy your home uses and, eventually, increases the electricity bill if run for longer periods of time.
- System failure — If the unit has to work hard to pull air through a clogged filter, it may break, resulting in costly repairs or air filter replacements.
To avoid all of these problems, it is recommended to replace air filter as needed.
What is a MERV Rating?
(MERV) is an abbreviation for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It evaluates how effectively an air filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter and into the air stream. High-MERV filters capture small particles more effectively than low-MERV filters. On this basis, you can easily decide how often should you change air filter. More information on MERV ratings can be found in the table below.
|16 or below||HVAC-system-grade filters suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use|
|17 To 20||Used in surgical operating rooms, clean rooms, and other environments where absolute cleanliness is required.|
What Happens If I Forget to Replace Air Filter?
Changing the air filter system is essential to ensure clean air circulates throughout your home because your air filter system is responsible for the air quality around you. However, if they don’t change air filter then you may have to face such consequences as the Filter no longer being able to filter the air properly and dust jamming the moving parts of the Unit such as fan motors and valves can lead to breakdowns.
If you don’t want to replace air filter frequently, invest in a high-quality air filter with a thickness of A5 with a MERV rating of at least 16 or above.
Conclusion: Should I Change Air Filter Or Not?
The experts recommend that air filters should be replaced every 3 months or 90 days in order to maintain system performance and protect the occupants’ health. If the filter isn’t replaced, there may be health problems, high electricity bills, and system failure.
Frequently Ask Question: How Often Should You Change Air Filter?
Here are some users’ queries regarding air filter replacement.
Bad indoor and outdoor air quality, unit running constantly, more pets in the house, low-quality air filter, and other symptoms of a dirty air filter.
Basically, every 90 days or 3 months you have to change air filter in your home.
If you don’t change the air filter, then your HVAC system reduces the airflow and uses more energy.
Although air conditioning can function without a filter, it is not recommended because it can cause damage to your system, resulting in costly repairs.