When Is It Time to Change Your Air Filter?

Your air filter is an essential part of your home's heating and cooling system, helping to keep the air clean by trapping airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Over time, these particles can accumulate in the filter, reducing its efficiency and leading to poor air quality and increased energy costs. That's why it's important to know when it's time to replace your air filter.

Signs You Need a New Air Filter

The frequency with which you need to change your air filter depends on several factors including the type of filter you have, the size of your home, and how many people live there. Generally speaking, most filters should be changed every one to three months. Here are some signs that suggest it may be time for a new one:

  • High Utility Bills: A clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary resulting in higher energy bills. If you've noticed an increase in costs without any changes in usage habits then it could be time for a replacement.
  • Odd Noises: If you hear loud banging or rattling noises coming from your HVAC system then this could be because the airflow is being restricted due to a dirty or clogged filter.
  • Reduced Airflow: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow through your HVAC system resulting in lukewarm air coming out of vents. Check if yours looks dirty and if so then replace it.
  • Visible Dirt & Debris: If there is dirt or debris visible on the outside of the filter or around vents then this indicates that a new one is needed.
  • Allergies Acting Up: If someone in your household has allergies that seem worse than usual this could be due to a dirty air filter not filtering out allergens like dust and pet dander effectively enough.

Types of Air Filters

There are various types of filters available on the market today depending on factors such as size of home and whether pets are present. Here are some common ones:

  • Disposable Fiberglass Filters: These are basic filters usually very inexpensive. They do an adequate job at capturing large particles but won't do much when it comes to smaller ones like dust mites.
  • Pleated Filters: Pleated filters are more effective at capturing smaller particles than fiberglass ones. They also last longer and require less frequent changing.