Posted: November 11, 2011

If somebody were to ask you when is the best time to replace the filters in your air conditioner, you would probably answer “When they are dirty”. A simple answer to what may seem a silly question, but as you go about your business at home you aren’t likely to think about things like AC filters. You know that when there’s something in the air that shouldn’t be there, perhaps you should check your system to make sure it’s working. Unless you are vigilant enough to keep track of such things, how can you really know?

The question of when to replace an air filter in an air conditioning system is going to vary among households. To answer this for yourself, you will need to look at a number of factors concerning your household and lifestyle, and the style of air conditioning system you use. Let’s take a look at some of these factors as they relate to you.

The Air Filter

When you purchase a standard AC filter, you may note on the packaging that you are advised to change them out every one to two months. This is probably a good guidelines to adhere to if you consider yours a “normal” home with no variance on quality of life issues. These may include the following.

  • Number of people in the home – do you live alone, or with your family? The population of your household can determine the air quality and usage of filters by virtue of daily activity. If you are single and keep a clean home, for example, you may check your filter after a month and discover it may hold out a while longer.
  • Pets – Dogs or cats in the house? If so, you have pet dander. This could to put a bit of wear and tear on your AC filters. You may find with pets in the house you are changing the filters more often, perhaps every thirty days.
  • Allergies – If anyone in your family has severe allergies, you no doubt are doing everything possible to keep your home clean. Regular checking of the filters may result in changing every thirty days.
  • Overall environment – Where do you live? Urban condos and apartments are likely to be more subject to pollution that gets sucked into the filters as opposed to rural living. Of course, a home in the country is not without the opportunity for dust, dander, and other allergens. Consider where you live and get a good gauge on checking every thirty to sixty days.

When you change your AC filter will depend on a number of factors – your home, the people living there, and other elements. Once you have a good feel of when the filters have taken everything they can handle, you’ll know when to change them.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC services and Williamsburg HVAC services.