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How often should I change my air filters?

How often should I change my air filters?

The BIG question — How often should I change my air filters?

This is one of the most frequent questions we get here at

I will give you a straight answer and a straight explanation.

You should change your air filters every 30 days. Period. End. Of. Story.

Here's why:

Let’s talk HVAC, which you probably already know is Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

A central HVAC unit does not pull air in from the outside – it uses the air inside your house and either cools it down in summer or heats it up in winter. If it cools it down, hot air is vented to the outside world; if it heats your house up, it vents cold air to the outside. If your house was absolutely spotless and clean, you’d never need an air filter for your central HVAC unit.

Trust me, not a single healthy human being lives in an absolutely spotless and clean house.

Dust, dirt, pollen, dead bugs, hair, miscellaneous odors (many from questionable sources), smoke, chemical particles, dandruff, skin particles and a whole nasty horde of things float around your home no matter whether it is cold or hot outside. Add in pet dander and debris if you have pets.

Plus (because we all venture outside every day) we drag all of the above into the house on our clothes, hair, shoes and skin.

Each. And. Every. Day.


Plus, think about this —pollen and allergy season is not really seasonal in many locations — it lasts all year round if you live in Texas.

Texas is a great place to live, but everything has a downside. Texans get to deal with airborne allergens. Hey, it can't always be strawberries and cream.

Texans must endure nasty cedar pollen in the winter, plus an occasional and pesky high mold count. There is oak pollen in the Spring as the worst offender, but it gets serious help from elm, pecan, cottonwood and other culprits (grass among the many villains). Plus, due to moisture and heat, Texans get to live with mildew and its old pal mold. (SIGH). Ragweed arrives in late summer and early fall, aided and abetted by every sort of grass (yeah, more grass), plus every flowering plant that wants to survive by making pollen (BTW, that's almost all of them). Add in the harsh fact that Texans run the air-conditioning 24/7 in the late Spring thru Summer and into early fall. Why? Because it is blankety-blank hot in Texas! However, as all Texans can attest, it can also get surprisingly cold in the fall and winter, so you run the heat. Basically, the central heating (HVAC) system rarely gets a day off duty. Keep in mind that the dirty air inside your home that is processed by your cooling in the summer is also dirty air processed by your heating in the winter.

Solution – change your filter frequently and stop breathing that nasty, filthy, dirty air.

Nuff said.