How often should I change my air filter at home?

change air filter

How frequently you should replace your air filters might be on the following:

  • Air filter model
  • Overall indoor air quality
  • Number of pets
  • Household size
  • Air pollution levels and construction surrounding the residence
  • Your MERV Rating

For basic 1"–3" air filters, brands usually ask you to exchange them every 30–90 days. If you suffer from mild to moderate allergies, you could put in a better air filter or replace them even more often.

The shortest answer to "how often should I replace the air filter?":

If there isn't a smoker or pets at home, and your filter is the often sold 1" filter with a MERV rating of 4, you should be able to wait up to 90 days before switching it.

What air filter brands survive longer?

Some air filters are supposed to last up to six months, while others should be swapped month-to-month. The denser the air filter, the longer it can last. In most cases, you can examine the thickness of the filter rather than the brand. You also need to look at the MERV Rating.

The MERV Rating is a scale that stretches from 1-20 and calculates how effectively an air filter will eliminate particles out of the air. The bigger the MERV Rating, the smaller the particle that will be captured by the air filter.

While a filter with a higher MERV Rating might last longer, it might also impede the ventilation in your home. And you will have to exchange the filter more frequently. And if you acquire an older piece of equipment, plan to replace the filter more frequently to conserve the quality of your filter.

How regularly do I need to substitute my air filter based on thickness?

The lifespan of an air filter also relies on its thickness. A 1" filter will need to be changed out more often versus a 4" filter.

  • A 1" pleated air filter must be exchanged every 30-60 days.
  • A 2" pleated air filter should be swapped out every 90 days.
  • A 3” pleated air filter ought to be switched every 4 months.
  • A 4" pleated air filter ought to be swapped out every 6 months.
  • A 5” or 6" pleated air filter ought to be changed out every 9-12 months.

One of the perks of denser filters is not only do they last longer, but they also posses a better MERV Rating. This means they will do a better job of eliminating the particles in your home. They also generate less air resistance, which can help ones HVAC system operate more proficiently and decrease strain on components like the blower motor.

If you own a whole-house air purifier, you will also need to replace the filters more regularly.

How often should I exchange my air filter if I have a dog or cat?

If you have pets, you might have to switch out your air filter more regularly. Pet hair and dander can rapidly clog an air filter and reduce its effectiveness. For each shedding dog you want, expect to change out the filter a month sooner than you would for a home without pets. The same is true of cats, although they don't shed as often as dogs. If you own a hypoallergenic or non-shedding dog or cat, you might not need to change out your air filter as frequently.

Despite being a good rule of thumb, you will need to check your air filter more often to see if it has to be exchanged. Dogs don't shed at the same rate all year. They shed more in the spring and fall when they are blowing their coat. Take a look at the air filter every month and change it when it seems clogged.

Here are averages that might help you recognize how often you should put in a new air filter at your residence:

  • Vacation house or one occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6–12 months
  • Average suburban home without pets: every 3 months
  • A single dog or cat: every 60 days
  • More than one pet or if a member of your family has allergies: 20–45 days