Changing your filter is one of the easiest and best things you can do to keep your home comfortable and your HVAC system running at peak efficiency. While most people know that filters need to be changed, very few know how often they should be changed or why.

No need to wonder anymore because Snowflake Air has you covered.

Why is it important to change your air filter?

Air filters help keep the air in your home clean and healthy. They are important for removing dust, bacteria, and many different allergens.

They also help your HVAC system to run efficiently. If your filters are clogged, less air is able to get through, and the components in your system will have to work harder.

This can prematurely wear out your HVAC system and can make it so that your home’s temperature is not as comfortable.

By Ivy Dawned [CC BY-SA 2.0 (] via Flickr

How long do air filters last?

There are a number of different things that affect how long a filter is good for. First is size. Air filters come in many different sizes. It is important to get the correct size for your unit so that all the air is filtered.

The thickness of filters ranges from 1-5 inches. Thicker filters will last longer. For example, a one inch filter may need to be changed monthly, while a 4 inch filter can go 3+ months.

Secondly, filters come in pleated and non-pleated styles. Pleated filters are more efficient because they have more surface area and more pores to capture particles. Simple fiberglass filters will not be effective for as long as pleated ones.

Third, you need to consider the MERV rating of your air filter. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV value, the smaller the pores are so that it can remove smaller and larger numbers of particles from the air.

Higher MERV air filters can be beneficial for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues as long as it doesn’t restrict the airflow too much for your system. Higher MERV air filters may have to be changed more frequently because they capture more dust and particulate matter, which can clog the system.

If you want to use a very high MERV rated air filter, have a professional ensure that your system is able to handle it. Very low MERV filters may also need to be changed more frequently because they generally indicate a lower quality product.

These higher-rated items are usually reserved for commercial air filter considerations. That’s especially so for hospitals or certain industrial environments.

A few other lifestyle factors may also influence how frequently you should change the filter. You may need to change your filter more often if you have multiple pets, live in a dusty environment, have smokers in the home, or are running your heat or air conditioning frequently.

How can I tell if it is time to change my air filter?

Aside from simply following the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement times, there are a few other ways you can tell that your air filter needs to be changed. Look for some of these signs:

  • Visible dust and dirt buildup on the filter
  • The filter is gray in color
  • Your home seems dustier than usual
  • Your heating and cooling system seems less efficient and is cycling longer than usual

Changing your air filter frequently is important for the overall maintenance of your HVAC system. Don’t worry about forgetting to change your filter again by participating in our worry free filter program.  

For more information on Air Filters, see Air Filters 101.