How Long Does a Standard Air Filter Last? - A Comprehensive Guide

Air filters are an essential part of any home's HVAC system, as they help to keep the air clean and free of dust, pollen, pet hair, and other small particles. But how long do air filters last? It depends on the type of filter you have. A pleated air filter should be replaced every 30-60 days, while a 2-fold air filter must be changed every 3 months. A 3-fold air filter must be changed every 120 days, and a 4-fold air filter must be changed every 6 months.

Fibreglass air filters are the more affordable option, but they are less efficient at capturing dust and particles from the air. These filters usually need to be changed every 30 days or less. The more expensive pleated air filters can last up to six months. However, these general guidelines don't take into account filter sizes or types, such as thicker filters or smaller filters. It is recommended to never leave an air filter unreplaced for more than 90 days.

If you're installing the air filter in a vacation home, cabin, or other property that isn't in common use, you can usually wait a little longer to replace the filter. To find the right air filter for your home, locate the one that's already installed. To improve air quality, turn the thermostat fan switch from AUTO to ON. If you have allergies, you can reduce your symptoms by using a high-quality air filter and adopting a more frequent replacement program. Any use will cause a certain amount of dirt to be trapped in the air filter; after all, that's its job.

In general, filters with higher MERV indexes are more capable of trapping small particles than filters with lower MERV indexes. Cats and dogs usually lose more hair when winter turns to spring and summer to fall, which are key times to replace the filter. Whether it's a single pet or a full house, animals can lose hair and other particles that can quickly clog filters. If the air filter is not replaced accordingly, a homeowner's energy bill can increase as clogged filters make the system work harder to circulate air. If the filter remains unchanged, it can even shorten the life of the boiler or air conditioner, so it's important to include air filter replacement on your list of recurring home maintenance tasks. As a general rule, lower home occupancy extends the life of the air filter, while higher home occupancy reduces it. Whether it's heating filters, air filters, or any other part of your unit, be sure to take care of your HVAC system to extend its life.

Lacey Russomano
Lacey Russomano

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