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Your HVAC Filter Replacement Schedule + Tips for Choosing the Right Filter

June 27, 2018

How often do you replace your HVAC filter? The air filter in your heating and cooling systems plays an important role in helping you keep your home comfortable while maintaining indoor air quality year-round.

One of the best things you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently is to regularly replace or clean your HVAC air filter. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful HVAC filter replacement schedule as well as some tips for choosing the right filter. With these, you can make sure that you’re taking the best care of your HVAC system.

HVAC Filter Replacement Schedule

At Brody Pennell, we often get asked the question, “how often should I change my air filter?” In all honesty, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Below, we’ve put together a quick guide to HVAC air filter replacement, based on your lifestyle and home needs.

General HVAC Filter Replacement Schedule

As a general guide, you should replace your pleated HVAC air filter every 90 days. However, the more dirt, dust, allergens, and other debris the filter traps, the less efficient the filter will be. Therefore, you should as a rule check your HVAC air filter once a month and change more often if needed.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Families with Allergies

If someone in your home has asthma or allergies, they will be more sensitive to the airborne particles that float around your home. To help improve indoor air quality for those who suffer from asthma or allergies, change your air filter every 6 weeks. You may want to check on it periodically in between if you notice a change in indoor air quality.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Homes with Young Children

If you have babies or young children in your home, you will need to be more careful about your HVAC air filter changes. As a general rule, change your air filter every two months to maintain the quality of your indoor air. The same is true for homes with elderly family members that may also have compromised immune systems.

HVAC Filter Replacement for Pet Owners

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but pet hair and dander can negatively impact your indoor air quality. If you have pets in your home, you need to change your air filter every two months to ensure adequate IAQ. Typically, dogs and cats shed more in the beginning of spring and fall, so these are the best times to replace the air filter.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right HVAC Air Filter

Not all HVAC air filters are created equal. Use the tips below to find the right air filter for your home:

  1. Get to know your filter types.

There are many different types of air filters, and understanding the different types can help you make the best decision for your home:

  • Pleated air filters are the most common type of residential HVAC air filter and typically need to be replaced every 90 days.
  • Reusable filters can be cleaned, but they tend to have low efficiency ratings and require significant upkeep.
  • HEPA filters are very efficient. However, they are more expensive than your typical pleated filter.
  1. Pay attention to MERV ratings.

When you look at your options for air filters, you’ll want to consider efficiency. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating tells you how efficient the air filter is at trapping airborne particles. MERV ratings go from 1 to 20, with higher numbers indicating higher efficiency. Typically, standard air filters will have a rating between 5 to 8, indicating that they capture most indoor air pollutants.

  1. Don’t forget the filter resistance.

While it may seem smart to go with a higher efficiency rating when choosing an air filter, the most efficient filter is not always the best choice for your HVAC system. Depending on your heating and cooling system, some filters may have resistance levels that may prevent your unit from operating effectively. Take a look at your HVAC system manual or ask your HVAC technician about the best type of air filter for your system.

Los Angeles Indoor Air Quality

Still have questions about your indoor air quality? We’d be happy to help you find the right HVAC air filter for your air conditioning and heating system. Our team of HVAC experts can also help recommend the best indoor air quality products for your unique home needs.

To get started improving your IAQ, give us a call: (310) 896-4911.

About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

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