With the rising cost of energy, more people are on the lookout for new ways to conserve energy and lower their utility bill at the end of the month. But you’d be amazed by how much more efficient your home heating and air conditioning can function by simply changing the air filter.

But when should you change your air filter? Some people will change their filter between seasons, and others will go so far as to change the filter each month. In reality, how often you should change your air filter is based on a variety of different factors.

First and foremost, if your air filter is dirty, then it needs to be changed – regardless of how much time has passed. Granted, your general living conditions and the type of filter – as different types of filters have different life spans – also factor in. But it is recommended that you check it on a regular basis during the winter and summer, when your system is likely working harder than usual.

You should also consider the air quality of your home. If the air feels less fresh, it might be worth checking the condition of your air filter. Having pets in the house or a large number of residents can also cause your filter to more easily become clogged with dust, dirt and dander.

There are five different types of home air filters:

  • Economy Panel Filters
  • Pleated Filters
  • Electrostatic Filters
  • Electronic Filters
  • HEPA Filters

Knowing what type of air filter your home uses is half the battle, as each one has a different lifespan. But as a general rule of thumb, make a habit of checking your air filter at least once a month. If you are unsatisfied with the performance of your air filter or notice an increasing lack of fresh air quality, consider changing to a different type of air filter.