How Long Do Air Filters Last?
Air filter maintenance is an important part of keeping your home’s ventilation system working properly, as well as keeping your home’s air quality safe for yourself and the other people in the home. Air filters are designed to trap particles that pass through it, resulting in clean air being let out into your home. Over time the debris and dirt will start to build up on the filter, this just means it’s doing its job right.
Once the filter has a significant build-up of debris and dust, the filter begins to be inhibited from doing its job properly. If the air filter is not doing its job properly, the health of the people in the home could be affected and your HVAC system could possibly be damaged. Replacing an air filter is a pretty quick and painless home maintenance task, so no excuses.
When Should You Replace an Air Filter?
The time to replace an air filter depends heavily on the environment the filter is being used in. Take a look at the amount of pollution or airborne irritants, as those are a huge factor in determining when a filter will need to be changed and how long the air filter will last. The worse the air outside is, the more frequently you will need to change the filter as it is working hard to clean the air coming from the outside and passing through it to go inside.
- There are some factors that you should consider when determining when to replace an air filter. These factors include:
- People in the household who have allergies
- Whether someone in your house has asthma
- The amount of people that live in the home
- Whether you have pets, and what type of pet you have
- Whether you have any children
- Whether the house is occupied full-time
These factors contribute to the length of time between when you should be replacing an air filter and how long a filter lasts. If you have any of these factors in your household, you will have to adjust the time you wait to change your air filter and will mostly likely want to change your air filter much more frequently.
There are filter options that are washable. Make sure you confirm whether your air filter is washable or not. It is better to not make assumptions about this. In order to clean a washable filter you will need a brush and a vacuum. Be sure to bring the filter outside before cleaning it to avoid putting any of the particles it captured back into your air. Once you’ve vacuumed it, run it under some water and wait for it to completely dry before putting it back in its place. Just a reminder: shut off your heating and cooling system while you do this. These washable filters obviously last longer than disposable ones.
Important Factors that Contribute to How Long The Filter Will Last
Your air filters capabilities heavily rely on your environment—meaning the temperature and air quality outside. It’s best to consider how often you use your heating and cooling system. The more use it gets, the more particles being pushed through the filter and captured by it, the more frequently you have to replace the filter. If you never use your heating or cooling system—as unlikely as that may be—then your filter will not be in use either and it will not need to be replaced as often.
Another factor to consider is the size of your home, or the size of the space the air filter is being used for in conjunction with the HVAC system. The smaller your house is, the smaller the filter is, which will require you to replace it more often as it cannot withstand as much as a larger filter.
Take into consideration the air quality of your environment. If the air quality of the place you live is not great, then your HVAC system will be putting in more work, causing the air filter to get dirty quicker.
Do Different Types of Air Filters Last Longer Than Others?
Yes, different types of air filters will last longer than others, so it is necessary to know the type of filter you have. It is recommended that you change cheaper, fiberglass filters every month. A more high-end pleated filter, made from higher quality materials, will be recommended to change every three to six months. However, this does not take into account the size of the filter or the average use of it.
The six month mark is an extremely general recommended time. Follow the instructions that come with your air filter to figure out what kind of filter you have, as well as the recommended time to change it.
How to Tell When You Need to Replace Your Air Filter
You should be checking your air filter regularly to make sure it is working properly and is clean. However, there are some tell-tale signs around the house for when an air filter is needing replacement. It is important to note that you should not be able to tell that your air filter needs to be replaced. This means that your air filter should be getting replaced timely enough so you are not encountering any of the following issues:
- HVAC system malfunctions
- HVAC system damage
- The air is not as hot or as cold as it should be, or once was (depending on if you are using the heating or the cooling system at the time)
- Apparent reduction in air flow
- You, or someone in your home, is suffering from more allergy attacks
- A spike in your electric bill
Your HVAC is having to work harder since your filter needs replacing causing the energy used to go up which causes your bill to increase
If you need to replace your air filters, Filter King’s online store is the place to go. Every size and MERV combo you can imagine, all at the best prices in the business.