All About AC Filters: Which Type is Right for You?

Regular maintenance of your home’s air conditioning system is crucial, especially when it comes to changing the AC filters. Neglecting this task can lead to negative impacts on your health, finances, and the environment. By explaining how air filters work, the article helps readers understand why they need to be replaced regularly. It also provides practical advice on how to choose the right filters for your AC unit and how often to change them.

Types of AC Filters

When it comes to AC filters, there are several types to choose from. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Below are the four most common types of AC filters:

Section 1: Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are the most basic and affordable type of AC filter. They are made of layered fiberglass fibers and capture larger particles such as dust, lint, and pollen. However, they do not capture smaller particles such as mold and pet dander. Fiberglass filters need to be replaced approximately every 30 days.

Section 2: Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are a step up from fiberglass filters. They are made of polyester or cotton and are folded like an accordion to create more surface area. This allows them to capture smaller particles such as mold and pet dander. Pleated filters need to be replaced approximately every 90 days.

Section 3: Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters use static electricity to capture particles. They are made of self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers that attract and trap particles. They are effective at capturing small particles such as bacteria and smoke. Electrostatic filters need to be washed or replaced approximately every 3-6 months.

Section 4: HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are the most advanced type of AC filter. They are made of tightly woven glass fibers and capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes pollen, dust mites, and even some viruses. HEPA filters need to be replaced approximately every 6-12 months.

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How to Change Your AC Filters

Regularly changing your AC filters is a simple task that can greatly improve the air quality in your home. Here are the steps to change your AC filters:

  • Turn off the AC unit. This is an important safety step to prevent any electrical shock while changing the filter.
  • Locate the air filter. It is usually found near the air handler, in the return air duct, or in the air grille.
  • Remove the old filter. This can be done by sliding it out of the slot or unscrewing it depending on the type of filter.
  • Check the size of the old filter. The size is usually printed on the side of the filter or on the filter slot. Make sure to buy a new filter that matches the size of the old filter.
  • Insert the new filter. Make sure to follow the arrows on the filter to ensure it is facing the right direction. The arrow should point towards the AC unit.
  • Secure the new filter. This can be done by sliding it into the slot or by screwing it in place depending on the type of filter.
  • Turn on the AC unit. Check to make sure the air is flowing properly and that there are no strange noises coming from the unit.

It is recommended to change your AC filters every 1-3 months depending on the type of filter and the amount of use. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your AC unit is working efficiently and that the air in your home is clean and healthy.


Remember to check your AC filters at least once every three months, and more frequently if you have pets or live in an area with high levels of pollutants. By making this a regular part of your home maintenance routine, you can breathe easy knowing that you’re doing your part to keep your home and HVAC system in top condition.