July 07, 2017 Energy Air Share this post One of the most common questions homeowners in Florida have about their home’s air conditioning system is when they should change the filter on their AC. Your air conditioner’s air filter is responsible for removing the majority of particulates from the air, which can impact indoor air quality as well as the efficiency of the entire system. It can also affect the longevity of the system and its repair needs over time. Considering the air filter has such a big job to do, it’s important to keep your air filter clean. But how often do you really need to change the air filter in your HVAC system? Why Do I Need to Change the Filter? Every day you shed hundreds of hairs and millions of skin cells. That’s just you, multiply that by every person and pet you have in your household. Your air conditioner sucks air from your home into your unit for processing. Without the air filter, all of these millions of dead skin cells would get blown through your AC unit and distributed into your house, gross! On top of that, the filter also prevents allergens like mold, pollen, and dander from being redistributed into your home. Think of your filter like a sponge. When you use a sponge, it gets saturated with water. Well, your air filter gets more and more saturated with dirt as it does its job too. Eventually, it becomes too full to “soak up” any more dirt. A dirty filter can make your air conditioner lose 5-15% of its effectiveness! Factors that Decide How Often You Need to Change the Filter How Frequently You Use Your Cooling System As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to replace the air filter in your HVAC system every month. However, there are factors that will affect this timing. For example, in Florida during the warmer months of the year, you may use your cooling system heavily. However, during the mild winters, the system may not be used much at all. During times you use your system frequently, you may even benefit from replacing the filters every few weeks rather than every month. How Many People and Pets Are in Your Home The number of people and pets in your home will impact how dirty your indoor air is. Pets can add excessive dander to the air, and can bring more particulates like dust, pollen and dirt from outdoors into your home. If you are a single person without pets, you may need to replace your air filter far less frequently than someone who has kids and multiple pets. What Type of Air Filter You Have A final factor to consider relates to what type of air filter you have. More effective air filters are designed to trap more particles and last for longer periods of time than less effective air filters. It is wise to pay attention the filter manufacturer’s recommendations regarding replacement, and make adjustments to this recommendation based on your usage and how many occupants are in the home. How Often Do I Need to Change the Filter? A three person household in an “average” new construction home with no pets who uses the AC year round (like we do in Floria) should change the filter every 90 days. A single person with no pets could even change the air filter less frequently, between every 4-6 months. For every pet you have in the household, you should expect to get 30 fewer days of performance from your air filter though. A single pet household should change the filter once every 60 days. The more pets you have, the more frequently you’ll need to change the filter. Households with multiple pets may need to change their filter as often as every 20 days. Do you have a vacation home that isn’t occupied full-time? Depending on how often you use the system, you could change the filter every 6-12 months. Call Energy Air for Preventive AC Maintenance Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is a simple, easy step to take to keep your system running great and to promote superior indoor air quality. If you have questions about air filter replacement or if you need any air conditioning or heating services, Energy Air can help. Give us a call today to learn more about our AC products and services, or schedule an appointment online with one of our experienced technicians.