When discussing proper maintenance of you air conditioner, changing the filter regularly is one of the most important things to remember to do between AC tune-ups. Not only does it keep your system running properly and efficiently, but it also plays a big role in improving your indoor air quality. However, determining how often to change your filter for your heating or cooling systems can be tricky.

First, it is important to understand why you are changing the filter. Contrary to popular belief, AC and heating systems filter return air, not your supply air.  Therefore, any dirt, pollen, etc. inside your building will eventually get caught in this filter, making it harder for your system to “breathe”. This leads to decreased efficiency, making your space less comfortable and increasing the cost of your energy bills. Eventually, it can lead to component malfunctions and the need for emergency service. Of course, this can result in more expensive repair bills and is something we try to avoid.

There are a few factors to take into account when deciding when to change your air filter. Generally, manufacturers recommend changing a standard 1”-3” filter every three months. However, this time frame depends on your situation. Do you have allergies? Have a couple pets roaming your home? Do you have a commercial building that requires manufacturing that may pollute the air? You may want to change them a bit earlier since your air quality is likely a bit worse to start off with, and your filters will clog more easily. In environments like this, we recommend aiming for a filter change every 60 days. Have a few pets or heavy fabrication operations? Your timing should be closer to every 30-45 days.

As you can see, the question of when to change your filter isn’t as straightforward as we would like it to be. If you have questions about your home or commercial space, please feel free to give ControlAir Systems a call at (781) 286-0930. We can send an experienced technician to evaluate your home or commercial space, and even show you how to replace the filter.