One of the easiest and most beneficial maintenance steps to keep your A/C running smoothly all summer long is to change the filter regularly. But just how often is “regularly?” And how do you remember the next time you should change the filter?
When to Change Your Air Conditioner’s Filter
The most recognized rule of thumb is to check the filter once a month and change it when it appears dirty, letting no more than 90 days pass between changes. This is good advice, but your needs may vary based on a few factors including:
- The type of filter you use: 1- to 3-inch filters fit within the rule of thumb to change the filter every 30 to 90 days, but high-efficiency filters may have different requirements. Check with the manufacturer for more details if this applies to you.
- Your sensitivity to airborne pollutants: If you have allergies, you could benefit from changing the filter every month without fail.
- The presence of pets in your home: If you have one or more pets, the A/C filter is likely to fill up faster than one found in a home without animals. That means you need to change the filter closer to the 30-day mark to prevent airflow from becoming restricted.
- Level of pollution inside and around the home: If you live near a construction zone or you have a generally dusty or polluted home for another reason, cleaning the filter monthly could help keep the indoor air cleaner.
- Occupancy of the home: The more people who live in your home, the more airborne pollutants you can expect to have. This means monthly filter replacement is recommended. On the other hand, if you have a vacation home where you only spend half the year, you can easily get away with changing the filter every 6 to 12 months.
Remembering to Change the Filter
You probably don’t think about the A/C filter every day. Use these tips to help you remember when to change the filter:
- Write the replacement date on the edge of the filter.
- Make a note on the calendar to check the filter one month after you replace it.
- Set a reminder on your phone.
- Sign up for email alerts from your HVAC contractor.
For more tips about changing your A/C filter, please contact the professionals at GAC Cooling & Heating (Gaithersburg Air Conditioning & Heating), meeting all your HVAC needs since 1970. If you need a new replacement air filter, we offer them as single filters or by the case (depending on the filter) at our office at:
227 E. Deer Park Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20877