How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

As a homeowner, it’s natural to want to keep your house in top condition. One of the most important components of your home’s heating and cooling system is the air filter. Changing your air filter regularly is a simple and effective way to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system. If you’re wondering, “how often should I change my air filter?”, Grove Heating & Cooling is here to answer that question.

Why You Need to Change Your Air Filter

As heating and air conditioning system equipment circulate air throughout a home, the air filter plays a crucial role in maintaining proper air flow and healthy indoor air quality. However, over time, air filters become dirty and clogged with particles such as dirt, dust, pollen, and pet dander. At this point, it’s necessary to replace the old filter with a new one.

Failing to change your HVAC air filter causes a range of problems for your HVAC system, such as reduced airflow, decreased efficiency, and increased energy costs. This, in turn, leads to more serious issues including coil freeze-ups, compressor damage, and even system failure. Additionally, a dirty air filter fosters the growth of mold, bacteria, and other harmful organisms, which creates poor indoor air quality and can adversely affect the health of occupants. 

In order to prevent these issues, it is important to change your HVAC filter regularly, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Neglecting this maintenance task can not only impact indoor air quality and comfort, but also result in costly repairs to your heater or air conditioner and replacements later on. So be proactive, and make sure to stay on top of HVAC air filter replacement!

How Often Should I Change My HVAC Air Filter?

The frequency at which you should change your air filter depends on several factors, such as the filter type, the number of occupants in your home, and the presence of pets. Let’s take a closer look.

Filter Type

Not all air filters are created equal. There are disposable filters, which are the most common, and then there are reusable filters. Disposable filters are typically made of fiberglass or synthetic materials and are designed to be thrown away after a certain period of use. Reusable air filters, on the other hand, are made of materials that can be washed and reused.

The general rule of thumb is to change disposable air filters every 1-3 months and wash reusable filters every 3 months. However, the exact timeline may vary based on the recommendations from air filter manufacturers and the filter’s MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating, which measures filter efficiency.

MERV ratings range from 1-20 and indicate a filter’s effectiveness at removing particles from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing pollutants. Filters with higher MERV ratings may not need to be changed as frequently as HVAC filters with lower MERV ratings.

Number of Occupants

The more people there are in your home, the more frequently air filters will need to be changed. This is because more people means more dust, dirt, and other particles are being introduced into the air. In small households, filters usually don’t need to be replaced as frequently as they do in larger households.

Allergies and Asthma

If you or anyone in your household suffer from allergies or asthma, frequent air filter replacements are essential. Dust and debris, mold spores, pet dander, and pollen are notorious for triggering allergies and asthma symptoms, and a clogged filter can no longer pull these pollutants out of the home’s air supply. 


If you have pets, especially dogs or cats, you’ll need to change your air filter more frequently. This is because pets shed hair and dander, which the HVAC filter traps. The exact timeline will vary based on the number and type of pets you have, but a good rule of thumb is to visually inspect your air filter every 30 days if you have pets and change it whenever you find it is clogged with pet hair.

Household Products

If you use certain products inside your home, you may need to change your air filter more frequently. This is because products such as candles, air fresheners, and cleaning products can release airborne particles and chemicals into the air that can clog your air filter faster. 

Make Changing Your Air Filters a Priority

Changing your air filter regularly is an important DIY maintenance task that can improve indoor air quality, increase energy efficiency, and extend the life of your HVAC system. The exact frequency at which you should change your air filter depends on several factors, such as filter type, the number of occupants in your home, and the presence of pets. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your HVAC system is running at peak performance and keep your home comfortable year-round. If you have more questions about how often you should change my air filter or need help with HVAC system maintenance, contact Grove Heating & Cooling today!

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