The Importance of Changing Your HVAC Air Filters

While the air filter is the simplest component of your HVAC system, it is integral to its efficient operation and the quality of air circulating through your home. Air filters are also easy to maintain; remove the old one and insert a new one. And to ensure peak HVAC efficiency and air quality, you should replace your air filter regularly.

Of course, this begs the question of how often an HVAC system’s air filter needs to be changed, a question Tallahassee-area homeowners frequently ask the technicians at Tallahassee’s Air Control Heating and Cooling. With more than 50 years of HVAC service in the north-central Florida area, we’ve got the answers to all of your heating and cooling questions, so read on to learn more about why changing your HVAC air filters is essential and how often you should do it.

What is the Purpose of an HVAC Air Filter?

Located between the blower and return air duct, the sole purpose of your HVAC system’s air filter is to clean the air of dirt, dust, dander, and other contaminants. While this helps improve the home’s air quality, the air filter’s primary role is to protect the HVAC equipment. Without a filter, dirt and other contaminants can build up in the system’s air handler and other components, decreasing operational efficiency and forcing the system to work harder.

Three Benefits of Regularly Changing Your HVAC Air Filter

  1. While cleaning the indoor air is a supplementary benefit provided by an HVAC air filter, it is an important one. If too much dust, pollen, dander, mold spores, and other contaminants are allowed to circulate freely through the home, it can compromise health. In particular, dirty indoor air can cause or contribute to asthma, allergies, headaches, and other health conditions. Keeping the air clean also helps reduce the buildup of surface dust, which means spending less time vacuuming and cleaning.
  2. As your air filter captures more dust, dirt, and debris, the HVAC system must work ever harder to pull air through the filter. Thus, regular replacement of your HVAC air filter helps improve energy efficiency and can help save on energy costs.
  3. By regularly changing your air filter, you help protect HVAC system components, which will cut down on the number of potential repairs and extend the system’s operational lifespan.

How Frequently Do HVAC Air Filters Need to be Changed?

The frequency at which you should change your HVAC system’s air filters depends on several different factors, including:

  • HVAC system usage—the more it’s used the more frequent the changes.
  • Type of HVAC system and filters used—Your HVAC system’s instructions will have recommendations on how often to change its filter, as will the filter manufacturer.
  • Filter MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating—higher MERV-rated filters provide better filtration but require more frequent replacement.
  • Potential need to protect those affected by asthma and allergies—they will benefit from more frequent replacement.
  • Whether the home has pets—pet hair and dander tend to clog air filters faster.

You should generally expect to replace your HVAC air filter every three months at a minimum. However, you should inspect your air filter monthly to ensure it’s not getting clogged. Additionally, if you have pets in the home and/or any family members with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory ailments, you should probably replace them monthly.

Let Tallahassee’s Air Control Heating and Cooling Assess Your Filter Needs

Air Control Heating and Cooling can assess your home and HVAC system to determine how frequently you should replace its air filters. To ensure your HVAC system’s overall operational performance and efficiency, join our Air Control Club. With two different membership levels, this cost-effective HVAC inspection and preventative maintenance program comes with numerous benefits designed to optimize your HVAC system.

Air Control Heating and Cooling provides superior HVAC repairs, maintenance, installation, and equipment sales to our customers in the Tallahassee, Havana, Quincy, Monticello, and Crawfordville areas. For all your HVAC needs, contact us today at (850) 562-1234.


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