How Often Should You Change an AC Filter? - Guy's AC & Heating

When in operation, air conditioners intake a great deal of dust and other debris. For this reason, in order to help cleanse the air, they’re equipped with a replaceable AC filter. This filter catches contaminants for a while, but then becomes dirty and soon needs to be replaced. 

So, the question is: how often should you change an AC filter in Woodlands, TX? The answer? It depends. For more detail, read on! 

How Often to Change an AC Filter

There is no set time on how often you should change your AC filter. It varies based on a number of factors. That said, a change should generally be facilitated between every 30 and 90 days. 

Wondering what factors affect the duration of an AC filter? We’re going to discuss them below. 

Your Level of Cleanliness

Simply put, the more you clean your house, the longer your AC filter will last. This is because your cleaning will eliminate many of the contaminants within the home, preventing them from making their way into your air conditioner. 

If you dust religiously on a week-to-week basis, your filter will lean more toward the 90-day lifespan. If you never dust, there’s very little chance of your filter getting past 30 days. 

The Existence of Animals

One of the biggest factors when it comes to the duration of your AC filters is the existence of animals in your home. If you have dogs, cats, and other furry pets roaming around, your filter is going to be dirty almost immediately. If you have no pets, there will be no fur, and your filter should be able to breathe easily for a while. 

Wondering when to change an AC filter with pets in your residence? Probably at the 30-day mark. Though, depending on the number of pets, and depending on the length of their fur, you might be able to stretch this out to between 45 and 60 days. 

The Amount That You Use Your Air Conditioner

As you might expect, the amount that you use your air conditioner will have an effect on the cleanliness of your AC filter. The more you use your air conditioner, the sooner your filter will go out of commission. And if you don’t use it at all, you won’t even have to think about changing your filter, at least not until the air conditioner is turned on and put into use once again. 

Signs You Need a New AC Filter

You’re usually fairly safe changing your AC filter once every 30 to 90 days. It probably won’t hurt much to let a dirty filter stay for a while. But if you want an optimally clean home, you need to replace the filter the second it stops being functional. 

So, to help, here are some signs that it’s time for a change. 

Your Air Feels Dirty

When an air filter loses its functionality, it isn’t able to cleanse the air. As such, the air takes on a heavy and dirty sensation, one that can leave residents feeling uncomfortable. If your air feels stale and grimy, think about replacing your AC filter. 

Your Electric Bill Has Gone Up Suddenly

Another sign that it might be time to replace your AC filter is that your electric bill has gone up suddenly. If this has occurred, it’s probably because your AC is working harder than it usually does. If this is the case, a dirty AC filter could very well be the reason. 

See, when the filter gets dirty, dust and debris have free reign to enter the AC system. To counteract this additional dust and debris, the AC has to work harder than it does typically. This requires more electricity and therefore equals a costlier electricity bill. 

You’re Sneezing More

Do you find yourself sneezing in your home more than you used to? Again, this could be the sign of a dirty AC filter. If the filter isn’t able to catch the contaminants in your air, they will remain, thus increasing the risk of your allergy symptoms acting up. 

Keep an eye out for other allergy symptoms as well, including rashes, runny noses, and a sore throat. 

There’s a Great Deal of Dust Around Your Vents

When conditioned air exits the ducts, it comes out of a series of vents. Ideally, these vents will be clean. However, if the AC filter is bad, the ducts will take on dust which will eventually end up at the surface of the vent. 

Therefore, if your vents are dustier than they are normally, you’re probably dealing with a bad AC filter. Make a change as soon as possible. 

How to Change an AC Filter

Changing is AC filter is exceedingly simple. All you have to do is locate it, take it out, and replace it with a fresh model. 

Generally speaking, AC filters are located in the AC’s air handler. In this case, you would simply remove a panel from the back of the air handler, slide the filter out of its slots, and then slide in a new filter. 

In other cases, the filter is located in the return register. This is a large vent that’s typically located on a wall or ceiling. Unscrew this vent, swap out the filter, screw the vent back on and you’ll be ready to go. 

Need the Help of a Woodlands Air Conditioning Specialist?

Replacing your AC filter is just one aspect of maintaining your AC. There are a variety of other tasks that must be tended to as well, from cleaning the condenser to cleaning the ducts and more. If you need assistance with these tasks, there’s no one better to call than a local air conditioning specialist. 

Need the help of a Woodlands air conditioning specialist? We here at Guy’s are the people to see. Our team is well-versed in the maintenance of air conditioners and will do everything necessary to ensure that yours is running at max capacity. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!