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Home Filters: What Needs To Be Changed Regularly

July 25, 2023


There are several filters throughout your home that need to be changed regularly in order to maintain their efficiency and effectiveness. And overall, it is a relatively simple task that can be done with a few basic tools. Here are some of the most common, along with their recommended replacement schedules. Be sure to check your user manual for each item’s recommended replacement schedule.

HVAC Filters

The filters in your heating and air conditioning system should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and your level of use. Your furnace filter is an essential component of your home’s HVAC system and helps to remove airborne particles, dust, mold spores, smoke, odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and even airborne viruses (with specialized filters) from the air to improve indoor air quality. Regular filter replacement can improve the furnace’s efficiency, extend its lifespan, reduce utility costs and keep the air clean and healthy.

Refrigerator Water Filter

If you refrigerator has a water dispenser or ice maker, you should chance the water filter every six months to ensure that your water is fresh, clean and tasty.

Range Hood Filter

The filter above your range takes in a lot of grease and cooking byproducts and should be cleaned or replaced every 6-12 months to remove particles that become lodged in it.

Vacuum Cleaner Filter

To maintain suction and prevent dust and allergens from being released back into the air your vacuum cleaner filter should be replaced every 3-6 months.

Air Purifier Filters

If you use an air purifier in your home, you should replace the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which typically recommended changing them every 3-12 months, depending on the type of filter and amount of use.

Water Filters

Your water system or faucets may have filters that are used to remove contaminants such as chlorine, lead, mercury and other chemicals and minerals from drinking water and improve its taste. Check your user manual for recommended change schedules, or replace them when you notice a change in your water’s taste.

How Do I find My Home’s Air Filters?

The location of your home’s air filters can vary depending on the type of HVAC system you have. Here are some common places to check:

Return Air Registers

Most HVAC systems have return air registers—large grilles located on the walls or ceilings. They are designed to pull air into the HVAC system for conditioning and filtration and often have a filter inside.

Related: How to Change a Home Air Filter


If your HVAC system has a furnace, the filter may be located inside the furnace cabinet or on the blower compartment door. You may need to remove the furnace cover or door to access the filter.

Air Conditioner

If your HVAC system has a separate air conditioning unit, the filter may be located in or near the air handler unit, which is typically located in a closet, attic or basement. Look for a removable access panel or filter grille near the air handler.


In some homes, the air filter may be located within the ductwork itself, either in a dedicated filter slot or filter griller. Check the main supply and return ducts for a filter griller or access panel.

If you are unsure where your air filters are located, consult your HVAC user manual or contact a professional HVAC technician for assistance.

How Do I know If a Home Filter Needs Changing?

Other than referring to the maintenance schedule, there are indicators that can suggest it’s time to change the home’s filters:

  • Visible dirt and debris on the filter, or signs of wear and tear
  • Reduced airflow resulting from a clogged filter
  • Increased energy bills due to a clogged or dirty filter
  • Poor indoor air quality, with an increase in allergy or respiratory symptoms
  • Age. Even if a filter seems clean, it needs to be changed if it has been in use for a long period of time.

How Can a Home Watch Service Help with Filter Changes?

When you’re away from home for an extended period, your Home Watch professional can help you maintain your filtered systems in several ways:

  1. Scheduling. Your Home Watch professional can provide a reminder or schedule for filter changes based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Inspection. They can inspect your home’s filters on their visits to determine if they need to be changed, and identify signs of wear, tear or damage that may affect the filter’s effectiveness.
  3. Replacement. They can also replace your home’s filters for you, ensure that the correct type and size of filter is used, and dispose of the old filters.
  4. Monitoring. Your Home Watch professional can monitor the performance of your home’s systems to ensure they are functioning properly and that your indoor air quality is being maintained in your absence. They can identify issues that may be affecting the filter’s effectiveness and recommend remediation.

Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge, Northern Virginia’s Trusted Home Watch Professionals

When it comes to monitoring your home on your behalf, there is no better resource than Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge. We’ll gladly review your home’s systems on our visits, and can schedule and monitor your home filters to ensure that they are working efficiently and protecting your home’s environment. If you have a home in Northern Virginia you’d like to protect while you’re away, contact Golden Rule at 855-928-2424 for a free initial consultation. Also check out their HomeWatch, CarWatch,  KeyWatch and Concierge services.