How Often Should You Change Your Filter?

Why you should change your filter and all of the benefits of having a clean filter

There are lots of benefits of keeping a clean filter in your system, including running much more efficiently. It will put far less stress on the system and save you some of your hard-earned cash. 

Different types of filters

Several factors come into play when discussing how often you should change your filter. One of those is what type of filter do you have? 

Fiberglass filters: 

These will not capture as much dirt as other types of filters. Usually, you can hold them up to the light and see right through them, which shows you how big dust particles can slip past the filter. These tend to be some of the cheapest options, making them popular Since these catch so little of the dust, they should be changed every 30 days, even if they don’t look overly dirty yet.

Pleated filters: 

These are cloth-like materials and range from average filtration to excellent. Depending on the brand and the price, you can get an economy filter for a very reasonable price, up to a high-quality filter that will boast the ability to catch pollen, dander, and other micro contaminants. These will acquire far more dust than the fiberglass and need to be checked around 30 days.

Washable filters: 

These filters also depend on what style you get. Depending on the type and material they are made of, you may be able to go without washing one for 30+ days. However, the longer you wait to wash it, the harder it is to get clean. So this will also be one that you should check every 30 days and evaluate from there.

Other considerations when deciding when to change your filter

The filter type that you use plays a critical role in how often you should change your filter, although you should always change or wash them at 90 days or sooner. You may see that many filters claim that you can use them for 90 days or 3 months. This is not necessarily wrong, but it is misleading. 

If you use a high-quality filter that catches far more contaminants than the cheaper filters, but you live on a dirt road, in a drafty house, with several dogs and smoke inside, that filter will not make it anywhere near 90 days.

You will have to find which type of filter you want to use in your home and use it. Once you have let it do its job for 30 days, you can look at it. These factors will have made their impact. Dogs shed, smoke clogs up filters, and the dirt from dirt roads finds its way into our homes. If at 30 days your filter is plugged up solid, then change it and check the next one at 15 days. After changing your filter a handful of times, you will have a pretty good idea of how often you will need to change your filter for your specific situation.

Final thoughts

All filters are not made the same, just like all houses are not made the same. Generally, you should check your filter at least every 30 days. Just be aware that the less dense your filter is, the more dust and dirt get through it. This may clog your coil, make your system struggle to run, and cost you more utility bills.