How often to change your air filters can depend on the following:
- the type of air filter you are using
- the overall indoor air quality
- how many pets are in the home
- the number of people occupying the home, and
- the level of air pollution and construction around the home
For basic 1″-3″ air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them even more often. Or, if you’re in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough.
Here are averages that might help you know how often you should change the air filter at home:
- Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
- “Average” suburban home without pets: every 90 days
- Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
- Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
4 Ways To Prolong The Life Of Your HVAC System
1. Pre-season cleaning and check-ups.
It’s important to get your system cleaned and checked before the start of each season, generally once in the spring (for cooling systems) and once in the fall (for heating systems). This will catch any problems before the season starts and ensure your system runs smoothly.
Schedule maintenance cleaning and check-ups early to ensure you have a quality visit from a licensed technician.
2. Checking air filters regularly.
Clogged or dirty air filters can restrict the flow of air to your HVAC system, which creates extra stress for it by making the system work harder. This can cause costly damage to the blower motor because it has to work harder.
Checking filters regularly can help avoid the build-up of dirt or dust, ultimately causing less stress on the motor and prolonging the life of your HVAC system.
3.Inspecting your equipment.
Regularly inspecting your HVAC equipment can help catch small problems before they turn into big ones. While you’ll want a technician to inspect your ducts for air leaks and maintain your equipment, there are things you can check yourself.
Keep an eye on any equipment that is vulnerable to excess corrosion or wear and tear. In the case of central air conditioning systems or heat pumps, any parts of the system that are located outside the house need to be visually checked for damage or a buildup of leaves and debris regularly. Out of sight, out of mind can’t become a habit, as the systems need checked even when not in use!
In addition, every homeowner should regularly check for leaks in outdoor equipment. For example, finding an oily substance on outdoor surfaces could indicate a refrigerant leak, which can be a costly and damaging problem if not caught early.
4.Give your system a break.
For a lot of homes in America, your HVAC system runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s a lot for any system to handle. Giving it a break can help to keep your system from being overworked and prolong its life.
Installing and using a programmable thermostat can help with this, because it will allow you to adjust your temperature at night or when you aren’t home to a temperature that isn’t too high or too low. This way, when you return home, it’s less work on the system to get your house back to the ideal temperature. Overall, that slight ‘break’ for your system will make a big difference when it comes to the stress on it in the long run, and will help you to get the max savings possible