When it’s out of sight and out of mind, it’s easy to forget that the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system relies on a clean air filter. If an air filter is not regularly changed, it can cause serious efficiency problems for your system. It will struggle to move air, and it will reduce the overall life expectancy of the system.

This comes with both short-term and long-term costs. In the short term, your energy bills will be higher. And in the long term, you may end up dealing with an expensive repair or unit replacement much sooner than you would otherwise expect. Then, there’s also the matter of the health of you and your family.

Over time, the air filter traps dust, dander, pollen, and other airborne particles. The air filter can even become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. This can lead to health issues, especially among people who already suffer from allergies or asthma.

If you have noticed worsening allergies, dry eyes, or other cold-like symptoms while in your home, be sure to check your air filter. If you have never replaced your air filter or can’t remember the last time you changed it, replace it as soon as possible. Then, stick to a replacement schedule.

How often should you replace your air filter?

  • Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) with no pets or allergies: six to 12 months
  • Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: three to six months
  • Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: two to three months
  • Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: one to two months