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All of the climate-controlled air in your home passes through either your heater or air-conditioner filter. This simple component can have a large impact on how efficient your system is and how clean your air is.

If the air-conditioner filter becomes dirty or damaged, the issues can affect every breath of air you take inside your home. However, many homeowners don’t know how to answer the question of how often they should change their AC filter.

Part of the reason this question is so difficult to answer is that no two households have the same requirements for air-conditioner filter changes. In this blog, we discuss the factors that can affect how often your filter needs to be changed.

Filter Maintenance

While no air-conditioner filter lasts forever, some homeowners prolong the life expectancy of their filters by taking the filter component out and cleaning it regularly. This step prevents debris buildup and can decrease the chance of moisture damage to the filter.

For Reusable Filters

If you clean your (only) reusable filter appropriately, you may need to replace the component only once a year. However, if you fail to clean the filter monthly, or if you find that the debris isn’t coming off easily, your filter may need to be replaced immediately.

Filter Type

Not all air-conditioner filters are created equal. If you purchase low-quality filters, you will need to replace them more frequently. Worse, if you use low-quality filters, you may notice more foreign particles in your air overall.

Common filter type options include:

  • Economy panels—Economy panels are the most basic filters. These filters are not strong enough to be cleaned and reused. Typically, these filters need monthly replacement.
  • Electronic—These reusable filters are among the most cost efficient since they can be used for long periods of time as long as they’re cleaned every four to six weeks. These filters keep foreign particles out using a high-voltage electronic charge.
  • Electrostatic—Like electronic filters, electrostatic filters can be washed and reused for long periods of time as long as they’re cleaned monthly. Electrostatic filters use friction to create a static charge and catch particles.
  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)—HEPA filters are the best option for people with serious allergies. These models are the most effective on the market but also the most expensive. HEPA filters can last up to three years with regular cleaning.
  • Pleated—Pleated filters use similar material to economy panels, but the filter itself is folded into pleats that provide better filtration. Pleated filters may last three to six months.

Number and Type of Pets in Household

One of the biggest factors in how frequently your filter needs replacement is whether or not you keep pets. The average home without pets needs a filter check every 60 days.

If you have one mammal as a pet, even a small pet like a rabbit, you may need to change your filter every 60 days. If you have multiple furry pets or one longhaired, your filter replacement time frame may shorten to anywhere from 30 to 45 days.

If a member of your family has allergies to dust or fur, monthly filter changes can reduce his or her symptoms. Additionally, you may need to change your filters more frequently when your pets are shedding because the loose fur can easily get picked up by your air-conditioning system.


Your best option would be to contact us regarding our continuous air purification system.

Your air conditioner filter cleans your air of particles generated both inside and outside of your home. If you live in an area with lots of air pollution or a particularly high daily pollen count, your filter may become clogged more quickly.

In the average suburban home, your filter probably needs changing every 60 days. If you live near a notoriously polluted city, you may need to change your filter every 30 days to account for air-pollution particles.

You may be able to determine the right rotation period for your air-conditioner filters using the information discussed above. But if you can’t decide how often you should change your AC filter, consult with the experts at All American Air & Electric, Inc.

We can evaluate your system and household makeup to give you definitive filter-maintenance guidelines. Additionally, we can provide filter-change services as part of your routine seasonal air conditioner services.