Skip navigation

We are hiring. Training available. Great benefits. Apply Now

Serving the Greater Lansing & Grand Rapids Areas


A-1 Mechanical Blog

How Often Should I Change My HVAC Air Filter?


Do you know how often to change your HVAC system’s air filter? There is no one set answer for all Grand Rapids area homes, as many different variables come into play affecting the service life of a furnace filter.

How often you change your home’s HVAC air filter depends on how long your filter is expected to last and the different qualities of your home that impact the filter. When in doubt, call A-1 Mechanical for expert advice and indoor air quality services for your Michigan home.

How Long Do Air Filters Generally Last?

As mentioned above, there is no set service life for an air filter – it requires an evaluation of many different aspects. Air filter manufacturers include a recommendation for how often to change air filters. You can find this information on the product insert that comes with a new filter. Furnace filters are expected to last anywhere from one month to one year.

  • 1-inch and 2-inch air filters should be replaced about every one to three months
  • 3-inch and 4-inch filters require replacement after six to nine months
  • 5-inch and 6-inch air filters need a change after nine months to one year

Factors Affecting How Often to Change HVAC Air Filters

The manufacturer’s recommendation isn’t the final answer on how frequently you should change your furnace filter. The biggest factors affecting filter service life are detailed below.

Pets in the Home

Indoor pets shed hair and dander that easily become airborne in your home. These materials clog air filters faster. Homes with one pet should generally replace filters after two months; those with more than one pet may need to replace the filter monthly.

Heating & Air Conditioning System Use

How frequently your heating or air conditioning system is in use impacts filter service life as well. During periods of the year when HVAC equipment runs often, air is circulated more times through the home compared to times when the HVAC system is used sparingly. More cycles mean more passes through the filter and opportunities to trap contaminants, so filters typically fill up faster during high-use periods.

At the peak of summer and winter, air filters need to be changed more frequently than required during the spring, fall and the milder months.

Allergy & Asthma Sufferers

If there are allergy or asthma sufferers in your household, clean air is critical to their health and comfort indoors. You’ll need to change your HVAC filter more frequently when allergy and asthma sufferers are present. Changing the filter on a more frequent basis ensures the filter has the available surface area needed to filter out the contaminants that trigger symptoms among your loved ones.

Have Questions? A-1 Mechanical Is Here to Help!

Estimating how often to change an air filter can be tricky because of so many different variables at play. If you’re unsure how often your furnace filter requires replacement, call A-1 Mechanical! Our knowledgeable team of NATE-certified HVAC system technicians is always available to assess the indoor air quality needs of your home and help you create a plan for cleaner air indoors, from an accurate filter replacement schedule to installing advanced filtration solutions.

Comments are closed.