How Often Should You Change Your Home's Air Filter? A FL Tech Answers.
Have you ever lost power after a hurricane or tropical storm? How fun was that? How many days did you go to bed in a bad mood? (Be honest. Even if you were thankful to still have a roof over your head, at some point, sleeping drenched in sweat can get to anyone).
The air conditioner is probably one of everyone’s favorite feature in their home. This is the truth even if no one actually thinks about it. To keep it working efficiently, you have to make sure to change your air filters often.
Why do I need to change the air filters?
An air conditioner works by absorbing warm and humid air from your home and using refrigerant to turn it into cool air. Once the warm air goes into the unit, it condenses on the coils. The water from the condensation drips into a drip pan, then it’s siphoned out of your home through condensate lines.
If your air filters are clogged with dust and debris, it will block the airflow of this process.
The result is a ripple effect: The condensation droplets will freeze on the coils, preventing the unit from blowing cool air into your home. Since your home is not cooling, the AC will keep running. It won’t be able to reach the temperature set on your thermostat. So now you’ll get higher power bills.
An AC that doesn’t cool your home and higher electric bills to pay. Sounds like a drag, doesn’t it?
6 Factors That Influence How Often You Should Change Your Air Filters
Now that we have your attention, it’s important to note that the frequency of changing your air filters depends on several factors:
1. Type of air filter
The cheaper the filter, the more often you’ll have to change it… which ends up costing you more money in the long run. So when shopping for filters, look at their materials. They could be made from fiberglass, washable fabric, or pleated fabric (we listed those three materials in order from lesser to higher quality). Another good option is to buy HEPA filters. The acronym stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and they remove most of the airborne particles in your home, such as dust, mold spores, tobacco smoke, and pet dander.
You can also pay attention to MERV ratings. This acronym stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it ranges from 1 to 20. The higher the number, the better quality the filter (HEPA filters are usually between 17 and 20).
2. How many people live in your home?
If you live by yourself, you don’t smoke, you don’t have any allergies, and you don’t have any pets or burn a lot of scented candles, you could probably get away with changing your filters every six months. But if any of these factors differ, you’ll have to replace them more often. If all of them apply, change your filters once a month.
3. Quality of the air in your home
If there are any smokers in your family, or if you like to burn a lot of scented candles, or if you live in a polluted city and sometimes leave the sliding door partially open for your pets to come in and out, you’ll have to change your filters more often. Once a month is a good rule of thumb.
Everyone who has a pet or pets in the family is familiar with the high amount of hair they shed. In addition to that, you have to worry about dander: particles of dead skin that become airborne once they fall off your little Fido. If you have a pet (and good quality air filters), you may be able to get away with changing them every 2-3 months. But if you have several pets, stick with once a month.
5. Are there any allergy or asthma sufferers in your home?
Ok. This is disgusting, but it’s true: Even though air filters will trap many of the allergens floating in your home, they don’t really help much when it comes to dust mites or their feces. If you don’t suffer from allergies, this doesn’t mean anything to you, but for allergy sufferers, it means they’ll be having sneezing attacks with more frequency. So once again, you should make an effort to get HEPA filters and to change them at least once a month.
6. Whether it’s your primary or secondary home
As the Sunshine State, we have a fair share of residents who live part of the year in cold climates who come down here for the duration of the frozen tundra months of their primary place of residence. If this is you, just like with the single person with no pets, allergies, cigarettes or scented candles, you could get away with changing your filters every six months.
Contact Climate Design for AC Service in Tampa Bay
We provide services all over Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Eastlake, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, New Port Richey.
If you’re having AC issues, we can help! If it’s an emergency, call us today.