In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets in the house, it is best to change the filter every 60 days or 2 months. For households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we suggest changing the filter every 20 to 45 days.
Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can usually wait to change filters every 9-12 months. The more you use your home, the more often you should change the air filter. A good rule of thumb is to keep track of how long the air filter has been in place. The recommended average length of service is approximately 10,000 to 15,000 miles, which for most people is approximately every year.
However, this is just a recommendation and doesn't take into account your individual driving situation. The frequency with which the engine air filter will need to be replaced varies from vehicle to vehicle. Maintenance schedules for different vehicle brands differ in how often the air filter needs to be changed. On most Chevrolet engines, for example, the recommended change interval is every 45,000 miles, but Ford says it should be done every 30,000 miles on many of its engines.
Hyundai also says every 30,000 miles, but shortens it to 15,000 for “severe driving conditions” such as heavy traffic in hot climates and frequent driving on unpaved roads or dusty conditions. These rules will apply to other brands as well. If you drive in such conditions, it will often be necessary to replace the air filter before. It's important to note that there are high-efficiency filters that are designed to filter out small bacterial, mold, and fungal particles, but your standard MERV 8-11 filters will simply block out larger particles of dust, dirt & hair. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan.
Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable. If you've recently noticed that you have to refill your gas tank more often than usual, it's probably time to check your air filter. Some manufacturers of newer car models have changed the engine design to make more efficient use of space, and sometimes that means placing air filters in harder to reach places, which can slow down the process. If you are coughing and sputtering, or if you vibrate excessively when you turn the engine, you are most likely ordering a new air filter. Like vehicle air filters, cabin air filters should also be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance. To locate the engine air cleaner housing, look for a large plastic housing, usually black, that sits above or to one side of the engine.
Air filters are usually made of spun fiberglass (the same as attic insulation) or & pleated paper framed with cardboard for added stability and rigidity. The year, make and model of your vehicle, how you drive and even where you drive can affect the filter change program. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. Worn or dirty air filters will cause your engine to malfunction; among the things you'll notice is that you'll have less power and weaker acceleration. A dirty engine air filter will usually look dirty with dirt, dust, or stains visible inside the folds.