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How often should you change air filter in apartment

How often should you change air filter in apartment

How often should you change air filter in apartment

It’s recommended to change your apartment’s air filter every 1 to 3 months for standard fiberglass filters, every 3 to 6 months for pleated filters, and up to 12 months for HEPA filters. However, factors such as environmental conditions, occupancy, and HVAC usage can influence the frequency of replacement. 

Why is changing your air filter important, you might ask? 

Well, consider this: your air filter acts as the first line of defense against airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and even bacteria. Over time, these particles accumulate in the filter, hindering its ability to effectively capture new contaminants. As a result, your HVAC system works harder to maintain the desired temperature, leading to increased energy consumption and potentially higher utility bills. Moreover, a dirty air filter can exacerbate respiratory issues, trigger allergies, and contribute to overall discomfort.

So, how often should you change your apartment’s air filter? The answer largely depends on several factors:

1. Type of Filter:

Different types of air filters have varying lifespans. Standard fiberglass filters typically need to be replaced every 1 to 3 months, whereas high-efficiency pleated filters can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, known for their superior filtration capabilities, may last up to 12 months before requiring replacement.

2. Environmental Conditions:

If you live in an area with high levels of pollution, pollen, or dust, you’ll likely need to change your air filter more frequently. Similarly, households with pets tend to accumulate pet hair and dander faster, necessitating more frequent filter changes.

3. Occupancy:

The number of people living in your apartment can also influence how often you should change the air filter. More occupants mean increased indoor air pollution due to activities like cooking, cleaning, and simply breathing.

4. HVAC Usage:

How frequently you use your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system also plays a role. During peak seasons when your HVAC system is running constantly to keep you comfortable, the filter will collect more debris and require more frequent replacement.

Best Air Filters for Apartments

When it comes to maintaining clean and healthy indoor air quality in your apartment, selecting the right air filters for apartments is paramount. With a myriad of options available on the market, each boasting different features and filtration capabilities, it can be overwhelming to determine which air filter is best suited for your apartment’s needs. 

MERV 8 Filters:

These filters offer basic filtration, capturing larger particles like dust and pollen. They’re suitable for apartments with average air quality, providing essential protection for HVAC systems at a cost-effective price point.

MERV 11 Filters:

Offering improved filtration, MERV 11 filters capture smaller particles including pet dander and mold spores. They’re ideal for households with pets or mild allergies, enhancing indoor air quality and providing relief from respiratory irritants.

MERV 13 Filters:

Considered high-efficiency, MERV 13 filters capture even smaller particles like bacteria and smoke. They’re best suited for high-traffic areas or regions with elevated pollution levels, creating a healthier indoor environment, particularly for allergy sufferers and those with respiratory conditions.

When it comes to selecting the right air filter for your specific needs, we offers a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

What happens if you don’t change air filter in apartment?

1. Reduced Indoor Air Quality:

As the filter becomes clogged with dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles, it loses its effectiveness in trapping contaminants. This results in poorer indoor air quality, potentially exacerbating allergies and respiratory issues among occupants.

2. Increased Energy Consumption:

A dirty air filter restricts airflow, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This increased workload can lead to higher energy consumption and consequently, inflated utility bills.

3. HVAC System Damage:

The strain placed on your HVAC system due to a clogged air filter can result in overheating and premature wear and tear on vital components such as the blower motor and compressor. Over time, this may lead to costly repairs or even the need for a full system replacement.

4. Poor Heating and Cooling Performance:

Restricted airflow caused by a dirty air filter can impede the distribution of conditioned air throughout your apartment. This can result in uneven heating or cooling, with certain rooms experiencing discomfort while others remain unaffected.

5. Shortened Lifespan of Equipment:

A neglected air filter can significantly reduce the lifespan of your HVAC system. By allowing contaminants to accumulate within the system, it increases the likelihood of mechanical failures and reduces overall operational efficiency.

Read More : How do I change the air filter in my apartment?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should you clean your apartment air filter?

You should clean your apartment air filter every 30 to 60 days, depending on factors such as the type of filter and air quality.

2. Do you really need to change air filters every 3 months?

Yes, it’s generally recommended to change air filters every 3 months to maintain optimal air quality and HVAC system efficiency.

3. How do I know if the air filter needs changing?

Check for signs such as visible dirt and debris buildup, decreased airflow, unusual odors, or increased allergies or respiratory issues.

4. Can I run my HVAC without a filter for one day?

It’s not recommended to run your HVAC system without a filter even for a day, as it can lead to dust and debris buildup in the system, reducing efficiency and potentially causing damage.

5. Do pleated air filters restrict airflow?

Pleated air filters can restrict airflow to some extent due to their denser design, but they typically provide better filtration efficiency compared to standard fiberglass filters.

6. Where are air filters located in an apartment?

Air filters in apartments are commonly located near the HVAC unit, typically in vents or ductwork near the return air grille. They may also be located inside the HVAC unit itself, depending on the system’s design.


In conclusion, maintaining regular air filter changes in your apartment, including custom filters direct, is crucial for ensuring clean indoor air quality and optimal HVAC system performance. While the specific frequency may vary depending on factors such as filter type, air quality, and usage patterns, a general recommendation is to change the air filter every 30 to 90 days. By staying proactive with filter changes, including those sourced directly from custom providers, you can promote healthier living conditions, extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, and potentially save on energy costs in the long run.

By staying proactive with filter changes from Custom Filters Direct, you can promote healthier living conditions, extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, and potentially save on energy costs in the long run.

For more information or to place an order, please submit a form or call us today.