How Often Should AC Air Filters

How often you should change your AC air filter depends on the kind of filter you use and the needs of your household. As a general rule: If in doubt, change your AC air filter once every month.
For a more detailed answer, let’s look at the types of AC filters available and how various factors in your household affect your filter.

How Often to Change Each Type of AC Air Filter?

There are three basic kinds of air filter that any AC unit will use: washable or “reusable” filters, fiberglass filters (“the cheap kind”), and polyester filters (“the expensive kind”). Each one has unique needs.

  • How often to change permanent washable filters: These aren’t really “changed” or replaced but need to be washed on a regular basis. Generally, you should wash them every month, especially during peak season.
  • How often to change inexpensive fiberglass filters: These go for about $1-$5 each in multi-filter packs at any home store or hardware store. They get dirty and wear out quickly. You should change them every 30 days, regardless of the household factors below.
  • How often to change pleated polyester filters: These go for about $10 each and do a better job of filtering the air. They also last longer. You can get away with waiting 3 to 6 months between changing them. Go shorter or longer based on the household factors below.

The best way to stay on schedule is to set a recurring reminder on your phone or calendar so you remember to do it. For disposable filters (both fiberglass and polyester), it also helps to take a permanent market and write the date you installed the filter on the filter itself. That way you’ll know how long it’s been in there even if you get off schedule.

What factors in my household affect my AC air filter?

Every household is different. Households with more people, more sources of “stuff” in the air, or any residents with allergies, are households that need to change the AC filter often.
Specific factors that mean you should change it more frequently include:

  • You have multiple people in your home
  • You have one or more pets in your home
  • Anyone in your home smokes indoors
  • Anyone in your home has allergies

The more of these boxes you check, the more often you should change pleated polyester filters, and wash reusable filters. Cheap fiberglass filters should be changed every month regardless.
Of course, you don’t have to keep track of any of this yourself. A good Las Vegas AC service will offer twice-annual AC tune-ups—and include filter changes with long-lasting filters in every visit. A tune-up will also help you reduce energy cost and avoid costly repairs.

Get Help with Your Las Vegas Air Conditioning

You don’t have to put up with the hassle of AC maintenance. Let Ambient Edge help—with an up-front, flat rate quote. Call us at (702)948-7201 or fill out the form to your right and speak with one of our service experts today.

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