How long does an air filter last in a house?

In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may change depending on the location of your home (e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. Pleated air filters are more expensive at first, but they are also more efficient at trapping particles and can last up to 90 days, depending on use.

The ideal is to change your air filter every three months, however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, the efficiency of the filter decreases. Find out below if you should replace the filter more often.

Air filters should be changed every 90 days on average. An HVAC filter will only last one to three months on average. Which means you need to keep track of the date you installed them. If you wait too long to change the filter, indoor air quality will suffer.

Numerous contaminants and debris, including excess dust, can cause air filters to clog and reduce air circulation throughout the home. The more folds an air filter has, the better the chances of removing contaminants from the indoor air. Consider replacing air filters after a major home renovation to keep the air clean and reduce the chances of costly maintenance repairs later on. When you remove the air filter from the air handling unit, if you hold it close to a light source, you can see if the filter is dirty or clogged; if you can't see the light through the filter, it's definitely time to change it.

Fiberglass filters have a lower price; however, they will need to be replaced more frequently (usually every 30 days). To ensure that only clean air comes out of your HVAC system, replace the air filter before it becomes clogged so that you can breathe better. However, many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, leaving their system vulnerable to damage. Even so, the filter expiration date should be the maximum date until which you keep that particular filter.

On the other hand, if you use your HVAC system almost constantly, you'll need to change the filter every few weeks (especially if you use fiberglass filters). Changing the air filter will help keep parts of the air conditioner clean and prevent wear and tear. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped, clogging the filter and decreasing its efficiency. Air filters help clean the air in a heating and air conditioning system by removing unwanted debris.

Compared to other DIY home improvement projects, changing air filters is a quick and painless process that can be done in less than an hour. If you live alone, without pets, and with good surrounding outdoor air quality, the manufacturer's filter change recommendations will likely work well for you. If you live in a mild climate and only use your air conditioner or heater for a few hours a day, a filter could last the entire season or up to an entire year. If you have an asthmatic or allergic person at home, change the filter every 6 weeks to ensure that the indoor air quality is the best.

Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

Subtly charming musicaholic. Zombie evangelist. Incurable travel lover. Devoted beer enthusiast. Passionate zombie specialist.

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