Homeowners know very well the importance of good maintenance, and that extends to the HVAC system. Luckily, HVAC maintenance is often as simple as just changing the filter. But how do you know when it’s time to do that? How often do you need to change the filter, anyway? If you’ve had these questions, keep reading for how to know it’s time to change your HVAC filter. 

When Do I Need To Change the Filter? 

A few household variables can affect how often you need to change your air filter at home. Generally speaking, HVAC filters should be replaced every three months or so, though there are high-end filters that last up to six months. The longer you use a filter, the more buildup of dust, debris, and allergens it will have. 

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to changing your HVAC filter. 


If you have young children at home, great air quality is a priority. To do this, you should change your HVAC filter every two or three months. 


Pets like cats and dogs regularly shed their fur. Though this can be an annoyance when it comes to laundry and vacuuming, pet hair and dander can become a health hazard if it starts to build up on your air filter. With pets in the house, you should change your HVAC filter at least every two months. You may find that you need to do it more often when your pet starts shedding its winter coat. Remember: pet hair and dander will clog up your filter quickly compared to smaller dust particles, so keep an eye on it!

Allergies and Asthma

Making sure your air quality indoors is as clean as possible is crucial if anyone in your household has asthma or allergies. These conditions make sufferers a lot more susceptible to tiny particles in the air, including dust, dirt, pet dander, and more. Changing your air filter every four to six weeks will ensure that allergens and irritants are removed from the system. 

How Can I Tell When I Need to Change the HVAC Filter? 

Of course, even with the above guidelines for changing the filter, you should still pay attention to the HVAC system replacing the filter as needed. 

At the very least, you should check your filter each month. If the filer is dirty or covered in debris, you should change it. One good way to tell if it’s time for a replacement is by removing the filter and holding it up to a light. If you can’t see through it at all, it’s time to change it!

A dirty air filter can wreak havoc on a household’s health. If you need assistance checking or replacing your air filters, get in touch with Interstate Gas & Oil, the heating oil and HVAC experts

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