How Often Should You Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

One of my daughters was complaining of a musty smell coming from the air conditioning vents in her house. I asked her when she had last changed the filter and she just gave me a blank stare.

That’s when I realized I had never told her to do this. Somehow I just assumed she knew to do it. My bad. I’m no HVAC expert but with age comes wisdom so I do know something about this.

After talking with my daughter I began to wonder how many other people know to do this. So in case you don’t know, you should change out your filters for you air conditioner and furnace every 1 to 6 months.

If you live in a dusty area, in an area with a lot of pollution, have pets or have allergies or asthma,  or have multiple people in your house, you should change it every 1 to 3 months.

If you live alone and have none of the above factors, or have a vacation house you don’t live year around in, you can usually wait until the 6 month mark.

My daughter asked me what would happen if she never changed the filter. Well I can tell you. Bad things. Like it can eventually cause damage to your air conditioner and/or heater. It will cause these units to run harder so they cost you more to use them. It can also be bad for your lungs and can cause you to get sick more often. At the very least, it will cause a musty smell.

So what kind of air conditioner  filters should you buy anyway?

There are several types out there. You can get the cheap (usually colored blue) disposable filters but they don’t work all that well. If you don’t have a lot of the factors listed above, then these should be fine for your home.

HEPA filters are the most efficient. By being efficient, that means they will pick up more dust so they need to be checked and possibly changed monthly.

Electronic filters can be cleaned as needed with a HVAC cleaning solution, allowed to dry and use them again.

Electrosonic filters are usually the best option even though they are usually more expensive than the other types of filters. These also can be reused over and over again. They just need to be rinsed clean with water, allowed to air dry and then reuse. So if you can afford it, go for this type. It will save you money in the long run.

Whichever one you choose, just put a reminder on your calendar to check it every month and replace or clean it if needed.

They are pretty simple to change but if you never have done it before, below is a good video on how to do it:

Okay, I hoped this helped someone!









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