How often should you change the AC filter?

  • The lower cost filters, such as, the fiberglass filters that you “cut to size” should be changed or cleaned every 30 days.
  • A Rule of Thumb Guideline would be change them every 90 days.
  • The higher end pleated filters and charcoal filters can be changed about every six months

The important thing is to maintain clean air flow into your HVAC system and into your home. There many things to consider when establishing a change out schedule, for example:  Do you have pets that shed and have odors? If so, your change out may be every 60 days.  If you have young children in the home air quality is especially important; changing your AC filters helps, but you may want to consider changing your vacuum bags more frequently to aid your filtration system.  Those who have allergies or asthma suffers in the home may want to change out every 6 weeks.  Some other things to consider is how often do you use the AC, the size of your home and the overall air quality of your environment.

How can I tell when it’s time to change a filter?

If there is ever a question in you mind, play it safe and change out the filter.  The cost is minimal when you consider the overall impact on your everyday quality of living.  If you see a visible film of dust or dirt on the surface of the filter change out the filter.  If you can hold a flashlight behind the filter and most of the beam light is blocked or hard to see you are way past the time for a filter change.  Look for dust accumulation on your air intake vents, the output vents and the area surrounding them, dust accumulating on the fan blades, if your AC just doesn’t seem to be cooling properly or if your system seems to have excessive sounds at start up and it takes longer to cool your home down, its time for a change out.

How long can I go between filter changes?

If you wait too long you will put your AC under stress and may cause harm to your AC.  Remember our Rule of Thumb Guideline is every 90 days.  If you travel or are away from your home for an extended time you should make arrangements to have the filters changed every 90 days.  A clean filter has a positive impact on your home resulting with less power usage and improved air flow and circulation.  It will help you save on your utility bill. You should remove the filter every few weeks and make an assessment of its condition.  Is there a musty odor?  Is there a dusty film covering the filter?  If in doubt you should always change the filter out.

Professional Assistance

Carefree Home Watch, a professional home watch service provider serving the greater Fort Myers, FL and Sanibel Island areas, provides exceptional care for your home when you’re not there™.  We complete an observation report of your home which can include an assessment of your air filters during our regularly scheduled visits and we will change out your customer supplied filter at no charge during one of our visits.