Do I Need to Change My Air Filter Every Year?

In general, most air filters should be changed every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. The only way to know for sure is to inspect the filter every month. After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty.

If you have a new pet or the outdoor air quality has been poor, you may need to re-evaluate. If it's been more than three years or 30,000 miles, you should probably buy a new one (especially if you can save money doing it yourself). However, be wary if a repair shop says you need a new air filter every time you change the oil. In most cases, drivers should expect to spend more than a year, and probably more than two years between air filter changes, depending on conditions and mileage.

A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, its efficiency decreases. A professional can help you determine the protocol for changing the air filter of a specific brand or how often an air filter needs to be changed. Not replacing the air filter accordingly can cause your energy bill to rise, as clogged filters cause the system to work harder when air circulates.

If you're a pet owner, you'll want to change the air filter every 2 months, especially when winter turns to spring and summer to fall. Many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, leaving their system vulnerable to damage. If you've recently noticed that you have to refill your gas tank more often than usual, it's probably time to check your air filter. The HVAC air filter helps keep indoor air clean by trapping mold particles, pollen, and other contaminants moving through the system. Replacing your engine air filter is an often overlooked maintenance item, but a dirty air filter can have a negative effect on your car's performance.

Replacing your car's cabin air filter is even easier and cheaper than changing your engine air filter. Like vehicle air filters, cabin air filters should also be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance. To locate the engine air cleaner housing, look for a large plastic housing, usually black, that sits above or to one side of the engine. If you live in a big city or drive in a sandy or dusty area, pollutants such as smoke, dust and other debris will seep inside and clog the air filter at a much faster rate. During these months, pollutants in your home may increase but the air filter doesn't trap them.

Regardless of the HVAC system you have, each unit needs a properly tuned quality filter to keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at peak efficiency.

Willis Diruzzo
Willis Diruzzo

Typical sushi enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble music geek. Typical internetaholic. Subtly charming social media maven. Lifelong bacon buff.