The importance of regularly changing your HVAC air filters cannot be overstated. It’s the single most important thing a homeowner can do in between regularly scheduled service calls — especially if you want those service calls to be as inexpensive as possible.
Think about air filter maintenance in the same way you think about changing the oil in your car. You know that you have to get it serviced regularly, otherwise you’ll ruin the motor and wind up buying a new one— exactly like an HVAC system.
Just like with an oil change on your car, it’s not enough just pop into a quick-lube every 6 months or so. If you want to avoid costly heating and air repair, you will want to first ascertain how often your HVAC filter needs to be changed.
If you have pets, or pesky allergies, you will need to replace the filter more often. If you live in a quiet area, you might get away with replacing it less, than if you lived near busy, dirty streets.
The biggest mistake people make is only replacing the filter when it is visibly dirty. Just like car maintenance, oil only lubricates when it is clean. A filter can only work when air can get through it. If your filter is grey with dirt and debris, if it is still filtering at all, it is choking your HVAC system and forcing the fans to work harder than they should — a circumstance that will eventually lead to an expensive repair bill.
Check your filters every thirty days. If they’re still nice and clean, you can try 60 days, perhaps even 90 if you’re very lucky. But when they begin to get dingy, get rid of them. Purchasing a HVAC filter every month is a whole lot cheaper than having to buy a fan motor.