Please choose a Location

When Should I Change My Air Conditioner’s Air Filter at Home?

Every once in a while we’re asked what is the best thing that Columbus area homeowner’s can do to ensure efficient functionality of their air conditioning and heating system between their regular tune-ups? That’s an easy one; remember to change the heating and air conditioning air filter. Replacing furnace and return air filters is critical to the ideal operation of your HVAC system, not to mention your home’s air quality. Research suggests that indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks? You probably don’t consider it as you sit and watch TV, but this is the air you breathe day and night. Changing the air filters is not all that hard for most Columbus homeowners, but there are often two hurdles to actually accomplishing this task: 

  1. Determining just how often to change your furnace or air conditioner filter. 
  1. Remembering to change air filters when needed. 

When To Change Your Air Filters 

Most filters have a recommended guideline on the box or plastic. It may read “Lasts up to 3 months” or “Change filter every 90 days”. Look around at the store and you’ll notice that some are meant to only last one month, while other manufacturers (like Honeywell) have released media air cleaners with filters meant to be exchanged once every 6-12 months. The norm seems to be once every three months for most higher quality filters, but we have a rule of thumb that we tell our friends, and family to go by. If it’s dirty, change it! A dirty air filter can add or cause damage to pricey parts, like your compressor, so it’s best to change it out more often than to let it go. If you want to follow the manufacturer’s recommended limit, we suggest scribbling the date on the filter when you swap it out, and setting a reminder for yourself in your phone or on a calendar. Also note that your filter manufacturer might have a different recommendation from your HVAC system manufacturer. 
 
Deciding how often to change your air filters hinges on several factors: 

  • The type of air filter you are using 
  • The entire air quality of your Columbus area home 
  • Pets – Birds, cats, dogs, hamsters (do you have one?), etc. 
  • Number of occupants in the house 
  • General air pollution in the Columbus area or construction taking place nearby 

For your typical 1″-3″ air filters, the OEM specs basically suggest to change them every 1 or 2 months, which is really a great rule of thumb. But generalities may not be suitable for your specific needs. If you have to endure light to moderate allergies, you may need to upgrade the air filter or change them even more frequently than OEM specifications. On the other hand, if you’re in a less populated area, own a less occupied home (like a vacation home) or an area where there are fewer cars around, annual replacement of your air filter may be quite sufficient. Why do pets matter so much? They have a tendency to shed, which can clog your air filter quick. Of course, the air filter is just doing its job by capturing pet hair and dander, but exceptionally dirty filters can cause seriously reduced HVAC performance. 

In summary: 

  • Seldom used home or single occupant homes without pets or allergies: Change 6-12 months 
  • Average suburban home without pets: Change every 90 days 
  • Got a cat or dog: Change every 60 days 
  • More than one pet or have allergies: Change every 30-45 days 

How To Remember To Change Your Air Conditioner’s Air Filters 

It’s simple; sign up for the Service Experts Email Club. This is a great to receive discounts on service, tips and other helpful information directly to your email. But wait… there’s more, your email subscription preferences let’s you set a reminder to change your Columbus area home’s air filter every 30, 60, 90, 120 or 365 days, or a specific date of your choice. 

How to replace your return air filter 

Most of us know how to replace the air filter in their system, but some homes have an additional filter in the return ducts. Whether you have one or not is dependent on what your unit’s manufacturer recommends. Your system is made to handle a certain amount of pressure in your house, and the more filters you have the fiercer the blower motor works, which can decrease the life of your system if it isn’t designed for it. Learning whether you have a return filter and replacing it is simple: 

  • Go to your return air vents. 
  • Some covers have screws and some have tabs. Unscrew or pull tabs to pull off the wall. 
  • Check for a filter. If one is inside, pull it out and write down the size. 
  • Verify the filter type is the one recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • If the filter is dirty, replace with the manufacturer’s recommended filter of the same size and type. 

Incredible though it may seem, filters can greatly alter your home’s airflow, which is why we recommend asking the manufacturer. A higher quality HEPA filter that is designed to catch finer particles will restrict airflow more than a cheaper filter. With restricted airflow comes greater pressure on your system, so you need to verify that your HVAC system was engineered to handle it. Otherwise, you might experience lowered heating and cooling efficiency in your home, and HVAC parts may wear out much faster than normal. 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

MAKE NO PAYMENTS FOR 30 DAYS!

  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional