When Should You Replace Your 20x20x1 Air Filter?

A general rule 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, its efficiency decreases. However, there are some factors that can shorten or extend the time between filter replacements. Experts recommend changing fiberglass filters every 30 days, while pleated filters can last up to six months.

Most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This can vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and how old your system and equipment are. If you have pets in the house, it is recommended to change the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for homes with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, it is suggested to change the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't get much use can wait to change the filters every 9 to 12 months.

When the system works harder to compensate for a clogged filter, the unit itself may heat up. The outside of the air conditioner can be warm to the touch, or hot air can even escape from the back of the air conditioner. Increased wear and overheating can lead to major repairs and complete air conditioner breakdowns. If the air conditioner feels hot, check to see if the filter is dirty; replacing it should correct the problem.

It's important to note that there are high-efficiency filters that are designed to filter small particles of bacteria, mold, and mildew, but standard MERV 8-11 filters only block the largest particles of dust, dirt, and 26% of hair. In addition to regular filter cleaning, you should consider the common signs that an air conditioner filter should be replaced; here are five of the most common:

  • The filter is placed in a shared air controller where it cleans the air before it is diverted to the conditioning unit or oven.
  • All air purification allows the air conditioning system to operate as efficiently as possible, reducing the cost of heating and cooling a home.
  • You may not have realized that your furnace filter needs to be changed because furnace filters are not needed in every HVAC system.
  • You may even think that you can skip some changes if you live in a temperate climate or are not concerned about the air quality in your home.
  • On the other hand, if you use your air conditioning system almost 24 hours a day, you'll need to change the filter every two weeks.
We also offer filters for 5-inch ovens (16x25x5 or 20x25x), whole-house air filter brands, and filters for rigid cell ovens. People with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions are sensitive to most airborne particles. On the other hand, smaller rooms won't require much air pumping, implying a lower frequency of filter replacement.

A house that is occupied most of the time will require more frequent use of the air conditioning system and therefore will need to replace its filter much sooner compared to a house with no occupants. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable filters for air conditioning systems for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. For example, if you have pets or people with allergies in your home, you should consider using an air filter with a higher MERV rating.

Some people live in climates where air cooling is needed most of the year which means that heating the house is not a problem. Air filters usually have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) that determines the type and size of contaminants it will work against. Therefore, if you use your air conditioning system almost 24 hours a day you'll need to change your filter every two weeks. In conclusion, it's essential to keep an eye on your air filter.

A general rule is to replace it every 90 days but this can change depending on several factors such as location of your home, presence of pets or people with allergies/respiratory conditions and how often you use your AC system. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't get much use can wait up to 9-12 months between replacements while high-efficiency filters should be used if there are pets or people with allergies in your home.

Catherine Plessner
Catherine Plessner

Devoted bacon trailblazer. Subtly charming burrito aficionado. Infuriatingly humble coffee advocate. Certified foodaholic. Incurable sushi guru. Award-winning travel lover.