Changing the air filter regularly is essential for extending the life of your engine. Particles as small as a grain of salt can cause damage to internal engine parts, such as cylinders and pistons, leading to costly repairs. Replacing a clogged air filter can also increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration, depending on the make and model of your car. So, how often should you replace your air filter?The answer depends on the make and model of your car, as well as the driving conditions.
Generally, it is recommended that you replace your air filter 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. It's best to review the maintenance schedule provided by your car manufacturer to get the proper replacement program. For HVAC systems, 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 the house, 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 20-45 days. Without a clean air filter, your HVAC unit works harder and is prone to more breakdowns. Compared to other DIY home improvement projects, changing air filters is a quick and painless process that can be done in less than an hour.
However, many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, making their system vulnerable to damage. When it comes to replacing your air filter, it's important to stick to the schedule provided by your car manufacturer or HVAC company. Some manufacturers say the filter needs to be changed every 15,000 miles. Others say every two years, while others say every 30,000 miles or more. The recommended interval for your vehicle will be detailed in the maintenance program section of your owner's manual. If you know where your air filter is located (you can refer to your owner's manual for where to look), you can do a visual inspection.
Try brushing dirt off the surface and rotating the filter 180 degrees to expose the cleaned area to the main airflow. Simply cleaning the air filter and reinstalling it does not adequately protect your air conditioning system. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan. Air filters typically have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Report Value) that determines the type and size of contaminants against which the filter will operate. These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering your HVAC system or circulating in the air.
A Department of Energy study found that electronic engine controls in modern vehicles are “sophisticated enough to prevent a clogged air filter from affecting the vehicle's fuel economy.”We expect drivers, in most cases, to spend more than a year, at least, and probably more than two years between air filter changes, depending on conditions and mileage. Some manufacturers of newer car models have changed the engine design to make more efficient use of space, and sometimes that means placing air filters in more difficult to reach places, which can slow down the process. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. Therefore, we have established that you must stick to the schedule to change your air filter. In conclusion, replacing your air filter regularly is essential for maintaining optimal performance of both car engines and HVAC systems. Depending on driving conditions and other factors such as pet ownership or allergies/respiratory conditions, it is recommended that you replace your car's air filter every 12-15k miles or 3 months for HVAC systems.
Visually inspect your air filter every month for excessive particulate buildup.