Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility and maintenance. Maintaining your HVAC system is one of the most important tasks. Air conditioning filters aren’t meant to last forever, so you should keep track of when you replace them. If you wait too long, the filter may get overwhelmed and collapse, creating further issues with your HVAC system. This can lead to expensive repairs and a lack of air conditioning during the warmer months when it is needed most.

How Frequently Should You Replace Your Chicago Area Air Filters?

It is a general rule among homeowners to maintain their air filters. The type of filter you use will determine how often you replace it. It is recommended that you replace your filter every 30 days for lower-cost fiberglass filters and homes with a low amount of contaminants. For higher-end pleated fiber filters or homes with more exposure to various elements, replace them every six months. If you have asthma, allergies, or stay with pets, these time frames will vary.

When you buy a new AC filter, the expiration date of the filter is the maximum date that you can use it. Replacing your filter sooner than the expiration date is usually the best practice.

Although the time will differ from house to house, you must monitor the airflow and environment of your home in order to keep your AC filter working properly. Here’s what to consider when deciding how often your filter should be replaced:

Allergies or Asthma

Allergies or asthma are additional reasons to replace your AC filter more frequently. Because respiratory sensitivities make you more vulnerable to airborne particles, replace your air filter every four to six weeks to ensure that your indoor air quality stays optimal.

Lack of filter maintenance can have a negative impact on your health. Clogged air filters can cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, asthma attacks or allergic reactions. Keeping track of your air filter replacements will help prevent any of these symptoms from occurring.

Seasonal Variations

During allergy and flu season, replace your filters with high-efficiency filters. When you notice a surge in contaminants, replace your air filter more often. This will help keep the air clean and ultimately help keep you healthy.

During a season of remodeling, the quantity of dust and dirt flowing in the home is likely to rise, clogging your filter. In this case, your home’s filters will also need to be changed more frequently. This will minimize exposure to these elements and also help keep the air clean.


Your pet’s presence may impact how often you replace your air filter. Pets increase the amount of fur, dander, and dust in your indoor air. These contaminants combine and collect quickly on your filter, restricting clean air passage throughout your home.

It may grow even worse if you have several pets, as the accumulation of fur, dander, and dust can impede your HVAC system. You should replace your air filter every six weeks if you own a pet.

Home Occupancy

The restrictions are slightly different when your home is a vacation property and only occupied for a small amount of time each year. Fewer impurities are retained in your AC air filter because of the lack of occupancy and usage during certain times of the year.

The fewer impurities there are, the less frequently you will need to replace the air filter. Air filters are typically changed every six months in vacation homes.

Why Is It Important to Change Your Filter?

Air filters trap pet fur, dust, and other irritants, allowing your air conditioning unit to distribute fresh air back into your house. The filter eventually collects so much dirt and particles that can cause:

• HVAC system breakdowns and equipment damage
• Not removing particles and pollutants as they should
• Reduced airflow within the HVAC system, causing the fans to wear out faster
• HVAC equipment working harder, thus increasing your utility bills

Estimating how often to change your air filter may be difficult. Contact [company name] with all your air conditioning questions and needs. We proudly serve New Lenox and surrounding areas. We can help you with all your indoor air quality, heating, and cooling services. Call us today and find out how we can help you get pure air in your home!