Is Your Home Air Filter Due for a Change? Here's How to Know

If you haven't changed your air filter in a while, it could be affecting your indoor air quality. But how do you know when it's time for a replacement? Don't worry, we've got you covered! In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to tell if your home air filter is due for a change.

From increased energy bills to poor indoor air quality, there are several signs that your air filter needs to be replaced. We'll discuss these warning signals in detail, so you know exactly what to look out for. Plus, we'll offer some tips to help you choose the right filter for your home and keep your indoor air clean and fresh.

So if you're curious about the state of your home air filter and want to improve your indoor air quality, keep reading. This article will help you determine if it's time for a change and provide guidance on how to choose the best air filter for your needs.

The recommended frequency for changing air filters

So, how often should you change your home air filter? The standard recommendation is every 90 days, or every three months. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the level of pollutants in your home, the type of air filter you are using, and the presence of pets.

If you have pets or smokers in your home, it is recommended to replace your air filter every 60 days, or every two months. This is because pet dander and cigarette smoke can quickly clog up your filter, reducing its efficiency in capturing airborne pollutants.

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, it is advisable to change your filter every 30 days, or every month. This is because a clean and efficient air filter can help to reduce symptoms and improve air quality, making it easier to breathe.

It is also important to note that the type of air filter you use can affect its lifespan. Basic fiberglass filters may need to be replaced more frequently, while high-efficiency filters with a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating may last longer.

To ensure that you are changing your air filter at the recommended frequency, it is a good idea to set a reminder in your calendar or schedule it as a regular maintenance task. By keeping your air filter clean and up-to-date, you can improve indoor air quality, reduce energy bills and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

2. Signs indicating that your air filter needs replacement

1. Increased presence of dust and dirt:

If you notice an excessive amount of dust and dirt gathering on surfaces in your home, it could indicate that your air filter is clogged and requires replacement.

2. Low airflow:

If you feel the air coming out of your vents is weaker than usual, it's likely that your air filter is dirty and blocking the flow of air.

3. Unpleasant odors:

If you notice strange or unpleasant odors in your home, your air filter could be to blame. A clogged air filter can't effectively remove odors, which can cause them to linger in your home.

4. Allergy symptoms:

If you or anyone in your household suffer from allergies and notice an increase in symptoms, it could be due to a dirty air filter. A clogged filter can cause allergens to circulate in your home, worsening symptoms.

5. Higher energy bills:

A clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can result in higher energy bills. If you notice an unexplained increase in your bills, it's worth checking your air filter and replacing it if necessary.

Different Types of Air Filters

Choosing the right air filter for your home can be daunting. There is a wide variety of air filters available in the market, and understanding their different features and purposes can help you make the right decision.

Here are the most common types of air filters you can choose from:

  1. Fiberglass filters: These are the most basic air filters and are typically the least expensive. They are made of layered fiberglass and capture larger particles such as dust and pollen.
  2. Pleated filters: Made of polyester or cotton, pleated filters offer better filtration than fiberglass filters. They have more surface area and can catch smaller particles like pet dander and mold spores.
  3. HEPA filters: HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters can capture up to 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, such as bacteria, viruses, and smoke. HEPA filters are especially useful for people with allergies or respiratory problems.
  4. Activated carbon filters: These filters use activated carbon to remove odors, gases, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. They are commonly used in homes with smokers or pets.
  5. UV filters: UV filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and molds. They can be installed in HVAC systems or as standalone air purifiers.

Choosing the right air filter depends on your specific needs and budget. It's essential to replace your air filter regularly to ensure that your HVAC system runs efficiently and keeps clean air circulating throughout your home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Filter

When it comes to improving indoor air quality, choosing the right air filter can make a big difference. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an air filter:

1. MERV Rating: MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating measures the effectiveness of an air filter at capturing airborne particles. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is. However, high MERV rated filters also reduce airflow, which can strain your HVAC system.

2. Filter Material: Air filters can be made from a variety of materials like fiberglass, polyester, and cotton. Some materials are more effective at capturing certain types of airborne particles than others.

3. Size: Before purchasing a filter, it's important to check the size of your HVAC system's intake. Choosing the wrong size filter can reduce its effectiveness or damage your system.

4. Usage: The frequency and duration of filter usage is another important factor to consider. If you have pets, allergies, or live in an area with high levels of pollution, you may need to change your filters more frequently than recommended.

Overall, selecting the right air filter for your home depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Consulting with an HVAC professional can help you determine the best options for your particular situation.

5 Steps for Replacing and Maintaining Air Filters

Now that you know how important it is to change your air filter regularly, it's time to learn how to do it. Follow these five simple steps for replacing and maintaining your air filter:

Step 1: Turn off your HVAC system. Before you begin, make sure to turn off your HVAC system to prevent any damage while you replace the air filter.

Step 2: Locate the air filter. The air filter is typically located in a metal box attached to your HVAC system. Refer to your owner's manual if you're having trouble finding it.

Step 3: Remove the old filter. Once you've located the air filter, remove the old filter from the metal box.

Step 4: Insert the new filter. Take your new filter and insert it into the metal box, making sure it fits snugly. Make sure that you're inserting the filter in the right direction by checking for arrows on the side of the filter.

Step 5: Turn on your HVAC system. Once you've replaced the air filter, turn your HVAC system back on and enjoy clean, fresh air!

Remember to replace your air filter every three months or more often if you have pets or allergies. Regularly maintaining your air filter not only helps improve indoor air quality but also prolongs the lifespan of your HVAC system.


It's crucial to keep the air filter in your home updated because it plays a vital role in maintaining the indoor air quality. By changing the air filter regularly, you can ensure that you and your family breathe clean air free from pollutants and other irritants. With the simple steps mentioned above, you can easily check if your home air filter is due for a change. Remember, a clean air filter not only protects your indoor air quality and your health, but it can also increase the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system. So, make sure you prioritize changing your air filter and enjoy the benefits of clean air in your home all year round.

Frequently Asked Question

When it comes to indoor air quality, a quality HVAC filter is essential. Knowing the different types of filters available for the home is the first step to getting the clean air you deserve. Not all filters are created equal, so it's important to take into account factors like cost and filter size when making a decision. HVAC filter sizes can vary from 10" x 10" to 30" x 30", and the filter's thickness, or depth, is usually 1 inch for common systems and 5 inches for larger systems.

Are air purifiers worth it? Do you need a high-efficiency HEPA air purifier? What about MERV ratings – are they important? If you’re wondering about these questions, you’re not alone. Many people are trying to improve their indoor air quality and are not sure which air purifier to invest in.

We’re here to help shed some light on the subject. Air purifiers, also known as air cleaners, help improve air quality by trapping pollutants and allergens from the air. They do this by using a fan to pull in the air from the surrounding area, then passing it through a filter or series of filters. Finally, the clean air is pushed back into the room.

Air purifiers are designed to trap dust, pollen, spores, and other airborne particles, while also taking care of odors and killing bacteria and viruses. This makes air purifiers a safe way to improve indoor air quality. They don’t emit any harmful chemicals or gasses into the air, making them a great option to consider if you suffer from asthma or allergies.

There are many benefits to using an air purifier. Not only can they reduce allergens in the air, like dust mites, pollen and pet dander, but they can also kill airborne microbes and reduce harmful chemical pollution. An air purifier can also eliminate smoke and odors from cooking, smoking, or fires, as well as remove mold from the air. Furthermore, using an air purifier can extend the life of your HVAC system, leading to lower energy bills and longer lifespans.

In conclusion, air purifiers are a great investment for improving the air quality in your home. Not only do they offer health benefits, but they can also help save you money in the long run. So, if you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality, an air purifier may be worth the investment.

Air filters are an important, yet often overlooked component of your home's HVAC system. They may look like simple cardboard boxes full of fibers, but they play a huge role in indoor air quality and HVAC performance. Here's a quick look at what these filters do and why they are so essential.

Air filters are made up of spun fiberglass, paper, or cloth enclosed in a cardboard frame. Their purpose is to clean the air that circulates through the HVAC system, trapping and holding dust, dirt, pollen, mold, lint, fibers, and other contaminants. Then, when the air is sent back through the HVAC system after it's been conditioned, the filter removes these particles from the air.

Every single bit of air that heats or cools your home will pass through the air filter, so it's critical that it's always clean. A dirty, clogged filter can cause a number of problems, from reduced airflow to HVAC system damage to higher energy bills. That's why it's important to check and replace your air filters every month. 

Simply hold the filter up to a light source - if you can't see the light through it, it's time for a new one.

Absolutely! Indoor air quality can vary from home to home, but most of us spend around 90% of our time indoors, making it essential to ensure the air in our homes is clean. Pollutants such as particulate matter, formaldehyde, mold, and pollen are all common indoor contaminants.

So, what's the best way to improve the air inside your house? Reducing or removing pollutant sources and ventilating with clean outdoor air are the most effective strategies. However, air filtration can also be used to supplement these measures. Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can both be used to reduce indoor air pollution and improve air quality.

These devices are designed to filter air in either a single room or throughout the entire house. While they are very useful in removing pollutants from the air, they cannot completely clear it of all contaminants. So, if you're looking to breathe easier, investing in a portable air cleaner and/or upgrading the air filter in your existing HVAC system is a great place to start!

Do you know where to locate air filters in your house? If you have a forced air heating or cooling system, then it's likely that your home has at least one air filter. This filter works to get rid of any airborne particles or debris from the air inside your home. To enjoy better indoor air quality, it's advised to replace your air filter every three months. Though, if your home has numerous occupants or pets, you should check your filter at least once a month. When you can't see through it anymore, it's time for a new one. When replacing your air filter, make sure to use the same model number as the one you just took out.

When you want to find the air handler, you'll need to look for a one to four-inch slot. It should either be covered by a removable lid or a wide-hinged lid. Once you open the lid, you should be able to spot the existing filter. Remove the old filter and insert the new one carefully - the filter should have arrows to help you make sure it's inserted correctly. The arrows should be pointing in the direction of the unit.

Homes with larger systems tend to have more than one air filter. After finding the first one at the air handler, you should see a second filter at the return vent. It will be larger than the regular vents and may either be rectangular or square. You may even find air filters in ceiling or floor return vents.