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How Often Do I Need to Change My AC Filter?

Any experienced HVAC professional is going to tell you that replacing your air filter routinely is one of the best ways to ensure good air quality, boosted HVAC efficiency, and lowered breakdown risks. But exactly how often do you need to do it? The team at Schneller & Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air is here to tell you!

Why Is Changing My Filter Important?

Your air filter is responsible for protecting your HVAC system (and to a lesser degree, your home) from dust, debris, pollen, dander, and more. A good, clean filter keeps everything going smoothly, and promotes healthy air flow in the system. This translates to:

  • Increased HVAC efficiency
  • Better home air quality
  • Reduced risk of breakdowns
  • HVAC system longevity

How Often Should I Change My AC Filter?

So the fact of the matter here is that there is no real “100%” right answer. If you checked a hundred pages on this topic you would see some folks say monthly, while others might say three months or even every year. The real truth is that it depends. Your needs and your home are entirely unique to you, and thus how often you need to change your filter is going to differ from your neighbor.

It’s easy to just say change it when it needs to be changed, but that’s kind of a shrug-off kinda answer and no one is going to be checking their air filter on a daily basis. So for a more concrete answer, we have to look at the factors that contribute to dirtying a filter, which include:

  • The size of your home. Most typically, larger homes cycle more air and more dust than others, which can increase how often your filter needs to be changed.
  • The number of occupants in your home. More people means more dust, since skin cells are one of the largest contributors to dust accumulation. And in and out traffic plays a big role, too.
  • The air quality in your area. Cincinnati is a great place to live, but no one would mistake the air quality for “great” in our area.
  • Whether or not you have pets. Dander is another major dust and debris factor, meaning if you’ve got a fuzzy friend or two you’ll need to change your filter more often.

If you’re looking for a best rule of thumb sort of thing, most homes need to change filters every two months or so. But for the best results, you need to learn the best way over time, or by consulting with your preferred HVAC professionals (wink!) since we typically can help you narrow down a more concrete answer. If we know a bit about you and your home.

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