Air filters are essential for keeping your home and car clean and free of dust and other particles. But how often should you change them? It depends on the type of filter you have and the size of the room or vehicle. Fiberglass air filters are the more affordable option, but they are less efficient at capturing dust and particles in the air. Experts recommend changing them every 30 days.
Pleated filters, which are more expensive, can last up to three or six months before needing to be replaced. Replacing your engine air filter is an important maintenance item, as a dirty air filter can have a negative effect on your car's performance. Smaller rooms will not require much air pumping, so the filter won't need to be changed as often. If you have pets or people with allergies in your home, you may need to replace the air filter more frequently.
When you buy a new air filter, check the manufacturer's recommendations for the replacement program. For example, if you have young children at home, it's a good idea to use high-quality pleated air filters and change them every two months. As a general rule, most average drivers should be able to go a year or two before needing a new air filter. After a period of smoky days with poor outdoor air quality, inspect the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced.
The occupancy of your home also affects how often you need to change your air filter. A vacation home where you only live part-time will need far fewer filter changes than a large family home with numerous occupants. Cabin air filters should also be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance.