There are various types of air purifier filters, so you've likely heard many terms such as "HEPA", "carbon", and "pleated." But not all filters should be treated the same. They all require different maintenance routines.
Air Purifier Filter Longevity by Type
Each filter's longevity is different, and you want to avoid replacing all filters too late or too soon. If you don't replace filters when they're supposed to be replaced, your air purifier won't work as well as it could. But if you replace them too often, you'll end up spending a lot of unnecessary money. In this blog post, we'll take a look at how long each type of air purifier filter should last before it needs to be replaced.
HEPA Air Filters
Most HEPA filters last up to one year, sometimes up to two years depending on your air purifier's make and model.
But it's important to check your air purifier's manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. HEPA filters come in a range of shapes and sizes. It's not unusual to find you may have a very effective HEPA filter that only lasts 6 months.
Carbon/Charcoal Air Filters
Most carbon and activated charcoal filters work the same, in that they function as pre-filters to collect smoke and gaseous pollutants. They are a very important secondary filter to support the HEPA filter, and they typically last 3-4 months. However, some carbon filters can last up to 6 months.
Carbon filters are usually replaced at least once before the HEPA filter is replaced. The next time you need to replace the HEPA filter, you'll want to time it right so that you also replace the carbon filter for convenience's sake.
Pleated Air Filters
If your air purifier uses a pleated fabric filter, or a "MERV-rated" filter, these typically last around six months to one year. The higher the MERV rating, the longer the filter will last.
Which Factors Affect the Longevity of Your Air Purifier Filter?
Just as all filters should not be treated the same, all environments should not be treated the same! When you introduce a new air filter into your purification system, keep in mind how its unique location is going to affect its longevity.
The higher the pollution levels are where you live, the shorter the lifespan of the filter is going to be. Unfortunately, this also means you need an air purification system more urgently than anyone. If you live near power plants, factory farms, or high-traffic/metropolitan locations, don't be surprised if you find your filters don't last as long as advised. They are still very important to have.
Amidst growing climate issues across the globe, air purifier filter longevity will also suffer. If you have been experiencing wildfires recently, you'll desperately need some carbon filters specially designed to combat smoke - but also, you'll likely tick off some of its lifespan.
If you have pets, their dander and hair will also affect how long your air purifier filter lasts. The more pets you have, the shorter the lifespan of your air filter will be. Pet hair clogs carbon filters and even HEPA filters very quickly, so be prepared to replace them more often if you're not taking your pet to the groomer regularly. It's okay, because the filters are working as intended! But if you want your filters to last a little longer, using a de-shed shampoo on your dog effectively slows shedding for up to 3 months at a time.
Cigarette smoke is one of the most potent air pollutants there is. If you or anyone in your household smokes, it's going to cut your air filter's lifespan significantly. Of course, if you live with smokers, you'll certainly want to use an air purifier anyway to protect your own respiratory health. It’s worth it.
The placement of your air purifier also matters! If it's constantly battling a dusty corner or a drafty window, its filters will wear down much more quickly. Leave it in a clean and open space in your home, and only let it run with your windows closed. Remember that it’s only cleaning your indoor air, not outside.
If none of these longevity factors apply to you, then you should expect to see your air purifier filter last exactly as intended. Air pollution is all around, and everyone’s health can benefit from a proper air purification system.
No matter where you live, air purifiers are a necessary appliance to improve air quality and protect your health. By following the tips in this blog post, you can make sure your air purifier is working as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. Remember to replace filters when they're supposed to be replaced for the best air quality in your home.