Rules of Thumb for When to Change Your Air Filter

Change Air FilterOne of the most important things you can do to keep your heating and cooling systems working properly between maintenance checks is to change your air filter on a regular basis. But just how “regular” of a basis are we talking about? While it’s obviously a simple question, there is really no set-in-stone answer. There are a lot of factors that go into determining how often your filter needs to be changed. What’s not up for debate, however, is that doing so is extremely important; if your filter is dirty, your HVAC system will have to work too hard to make you comfortable. That means higher repair bills and a shorter lifespan.

Filter Change Guidelines

The simple answer regarding when to change your air filter is, “When it’s dirty.” However, how long does it take for the average air filter to get to that state? Here are some of the factors that determine the answer to that question:

  • The kind of filter being used
  • Your home’s overall air quality
  • The number of pets you have
  • The number of people in your home
  • Any construction or air pollution around the home

Typically, most manufacturers will recommend that you change your air filter once every month or two. However, that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. For example, if you have allergies you should switch out the filter more often. If your home isn’t occupied that often or if you’re in a remote area located away from traffic and construction, you won’t need to change your filter as much. Here’s a basic guide to how often you should change your filter:

  • If you don’t have pets or allergies, if it’s a vacation home, or it’s a single-occupant home – Once every 6-12 months.
  • The typical home that does not have pets – Once every 90 days.
  • The typical home that has one dog or one cat – Every 60 days.
  • A home that has more than one dog or cat – Once every 30-45 days.

If you have any other questions regarding when to change your air filter or you need any sort of work done on your heating or cooling system, the professionals with Metro Express Service are ready to help. Give us a call at 817-516-0700 or contact us online.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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