When Should You Change a Merv 5 Filter?

Changing your air filter is the easiest and most effective way to maintain your home's cooling and heating system. Filters that normally last 90 days should be changed every 30 days during the peak summer and winter months, when the HVAC systems are operating at their maximum capacity and require maximum efficiency to continue operating smoothly. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may change depending on the location of your home (e.g.

dusty and dry weather), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets at home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and in the case of households with several pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend that you change the filter every 20 to 45 days. Usually, vacation homes or empty houses that aren't used much can wait to change filters every 9 to 12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more you'll need to change your air filter. Similarly, a 1-inch pleated filter will need to be changed more frequently than a 4-inch pleated filter, which can last up to six months before it needs to be replaced because it has more area for particles to build up. If you live in a “smaller house”, your air conditioners and ovens must pump less air with the same temperature change, which could mean fewer filter changes. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the boiler or air conditioner manufacturer may affect its performance.

Because of their folds, filters, such as the Honeywell Ultra Efficiency filter (also available on Amazon), have more square inches of space to trap dust, so they often require fewer changes, usually every 90 days. The MERV rating is a scale that ranges from 1 to 20 and evaluates how well an air filter can remove particles from the air. Marking the calendar every 90 days or trying to remember the last time you changed your filter can be a challenge, so many oven manufacturers recommend replacing them at the start of each new season. If there are no smokers or pets in your house, and your filter is the best-selling 1-filter filter with a MERV rating of 4, you should be able to wait up to 90 days before changing it. While a filter with a higher MERV rating should last longer, it can also restrict airflow in your home. Use a filter with a MERV rating of 12, such as the Nordic Pure Filter (available on Amazon), if your oven can handle it. Before we talk about WHEN you should change your air filter, let's start with WHY. Changing your air filter regularly is essential for keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and effectively.

The MERV rating determines the type and size of contaminants against which the filter will operate. If your air filter usually lasts 90 days, you should replace it every 30 days during the peak summer and winter months when your system works the hardest. But what happens if you let that time go by a little? If you want to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently all year round, it's important to keep up with regular maintenance tasks like changing your air filters.

Clint Bouyer
Clint Bouyer

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