Is it Worth Changing Your Air Filter? A Comprehensive Guide

Changing the air filter regularly is essential for extending engine life and maintaining the maximum possible performance of your car. The air filter is designed to trap harmful dirt and debris that can damage internal engine parts, such as cylinders and pistons. Damage to the engine can be caused by particles as small as a grain of salt and result in costly repairs. It is recommended that you replace your air filters at least every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 km).

This interval should be reduced if you often drive in dusty conditions. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may change depending on the location of your home (e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets in your home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Usually, vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can expect to change filters every 9-12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more you need to change the air filter. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days. As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, the efficiency of the filter decreases.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends this filtration to provide healthier indoor air quality. But what happens if you let that time go by a little? Before we talk about WHEN you should change your air filter, let's start with the WHY. Dirty or damaged air filters reduce airflow to the engine, which changes the car's air-fuel balance. An air filter may not seem like an important component to regularly check and change, but it is essential to maintaining the performance of your car. Air filters are generally inexpensive and changing the air filter is a simple task that does not require a professional hand. They are inserted in a specific location within the return air duct (usually a large pull-down ventilation in the hallway or other place in the house).

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter measures how effectively the filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. However, if your HVAC system works almost constantly, change the filter every few weeks (especially if you use a cheaper fiberglass filter).Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable. You can hear it: Your HVAC technician is giving you lessons on how to make sure you change your air filter.

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