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How often do you really need to change your home HVAC air filters?


Wondering when to change the air filters in your home?  No one likes doing this dreaded task that usually involves pulling out the ladder or getting dust all over our clothes. When it comes to changing air filters, some companies recommend changing them every 60 days, while some companies say every few months is enough. It seems very confusing for the average homeowner to know who to listen to. So, who is correct?

Factors to take into consideration at your home:

  • The number of people who currently live at the home year-round

  • How many pets live in the home?

  • The indoor air quality

  • Air pollution and construction around the home (city living or less inhabited area)

  • The type of air filter you use


When purchasing an air filter, most manufacturers state a recommended replacement time of 30-60 days.  There are some exceptions though.  Vacation homes or a home with a single occupant with no pets may only require a filter change every 6 months to a year.  A suburban home with no pets may be able to go 90 days before replacement.  If that same home has a cat or dog, bump it up to every 60 days and that should suffice.


When is every 30 days not often enough?  When there is more than one pet or occupants with allergies. And of course, you can always look at the condition of the filter if you are unsure as to what interval to go by.  Is the filter covered in dust or is there just a subtle layer of dirt while leaving most of the filter’s material visible? If unsure, always err on the side of changing it more often to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently.

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