How Long Do Permanent Air Filters Last?

Learn how long permanent air filters last - from low-cost fiberglass filters needing replacement every 30 days up to high-efficiency disposable HVAC filters lasting up to 6 months.

How Long Do Permanent Air Filters Last?

It's a general recommendation to change your home's air filter every 30 days when using less expensive fiberglass filters. Many people have had washable filters of this type for more than ten years. The only reason you'll need to replace it is if you find a better one or if you decide to do it. Of course, there is normal wear and tear on anything. Most washable filters last at least ten years, so it should be OK to plan accordingly and gently care for your washable filter when you wash it.

Most washable electrostatic oven filters come with a lifetime warranty against defects. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. That 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. 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. Low-cost fiberglass filters need to be changed every 30 days. More expensive pleated filters can last up to 6 months.

A good rule of thumb is to replace pleated filters every 90 days. If you have electrostatic or washable filters, you should wash, dry and reinstall them once a month. Washable filters are more environmentally friendly and, if properly cleaned and reused, can last 5 to 10 years. In addition, as noted in this recent Washington Post article, washable filters also reach the end of their useful life. Therefore, you will have to replace those filters completely after about five years of use.

It's easy to find high-efficiency disposable HVAC filters with MERV ratings between 9 and 12 that are capable of removing microscopic particles such as dust, emissions and even bacteria from your home's air supply. These factors contribute to the time between when an air filter needs to be replaced and the life of the filter. You won't need to buy washable filters very often, so the long-term cost of washable filters is likely to be equal to or lower than the cost of disposable filters. You can hear it: Your HVAC technician is giving you lessons on how to make sure you change your air filter. Considering the additional time it will take to keep the washable filter clean, if the washable filter is not cleaned regularly, its effectiveness will be further reduced. As air enters the vents and return ducts, it flows through the air cleaner to remove dust, debris, and any other particles in the air before the air is conditioned by the HVAC system.

Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. If the air cleaner is not doing its job properly, the health of people in the home could be affected and their HVAC system could be damaged. Air filters are designed to trap particles that pass through them, causing clean air to enter your home. The filter is responsible for cleaning the air entering your unit before it comes into contact with expensive components within your HVAC system. One of the main factors that lead homeowners to consider a washable air filter is that reusable filters are more environmentally friendly.

However, like HEPA filters, these filters will eventually reach their maximum capacity and will no longer be able to remove any more gases from the air in your home. This action helps filter out contaminants and clean the air before it recirculates to your home. Disposable air filters are definitely cheaper at the time of purchase, while washable oven filters are a bit more expensive. Take a look at the amount of airborne pollution or irritants, as they are an important factor in determining when a filter will need to be replaced and how long the air filter will last. The only type of filters that trap allergens and spores are HEPA, or high-energy particulate air filters.