The filter in your air conditioner system is one of the most familiar components for most Texas homeowners. It’s a small but critical part of your larger system, and just like your furnace filter, replacing it in a timely manner is essential to keeping your home’s air clean and comfortable. A clogged filter can make your whole system work harder than it has to, and can shorten the life of your HVAC unit. Your AC filter has a big job to do, and whether you change it yourself or have a professional lend a hand, knowing the right time to change your filter not only helps you keep your air conditioner running smoothly, but can also save you time and money that can accompany needless repairs.

So how do you know when to change your filter? We’ve created a quick and easy checklist to help you decide.

Time for a Change?

Depending on the type of filter you have, the interval between changes can vary. For example, if you’re using a standard 1″ filter (the kind you can buy at your local superstore or hardware shop), then you’ll want to change them at least once a month. Larger media filters, which are most often installed at the main HVAC unit, will need to be changed every three to six months. And if your home has more advanced filtration methods (including more powerful HEPA filters or electronic air cleaners designed to maximize air purification and particle reduction), you’ll want to clean them(or have them cleaned/replaced) every three to six months as well.

Factors That Can Shorten AC Filter Life Span

You’ll want to change your AC filter more often if:

  • You have multiple pets (more animals mean more dander!)
  • You or a family member have special medical conditions (e.g., emphysema, asthma, environmental sensitivities) that require you to have the cleanest air possible
  • You have specialty filters such as HEPA or advanced tech like UV installed in your HVAC system to reduce allergens, bacteria, and contaminants
  • You’re having extensive construction done
  • You live in an area where pollution or other airborne contaminants are a special concern

Changing your filter now means peace of mind later! And whether you’re a DIY type or prefer to work with your local HVAC pros to schedule regular maintenance, keeping up with your AC filter means keeping your home’s environment cool, clean, and comfortable throughout the long Texas summer.

When Should You Change Your AC Filter?
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