How Often Does an Air Purifier Filter Need to be Changed? Don’t Be Caught Sitting Duck!

How long does an air purifier filter last or can you run it until the purifier reaches the end of its lifespan?

If you live in a place that has contaminated air, you will definitely want an air purifier with HEPA filters. These capture not only dust and fur, but they also capture smoke and odor. They also last a long time.

So, how long do air purifiers filters last? According to the EPA, you should change HEPA filters once in 12 months and replace carbon filters in three or six months depending on how busy your air purifier has been. If the air purifier has permanent filters, you should clean them once in 90 days. Also check the filters for damage and replace if necessary.

Of course, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months are just guidelines for how often to change HEPA filter in air purifier. It differs case by case.

For instance, some people live in very polluted neighborhoods while others are not too bad. Therefore, when to replace HEPA filters depends on several factors.

Types of filters air purifiers come with

how often does an air purifier filter need to be changed

When looking for information about when to replace the HEPA filter of your unit, you will find that portable air purifiers come with different types of filters.

The most common are HEPA filters that are 99.9% effective. Others include UV light filters, media filters, pleated filters, washable filters, spun glass filters and electrostatic filters.

Because HEPA filters are the most common in home air purifiers, they are our point of reference for this article.

Because of their efficiency and health benefits, it is important to always insist on an air purifier with HEPA filters.

How often to replace HEPA filter in air purifier

Once again, the answer to this question is… it depends on a few important things. One of them is the amount of pollution that you have in your area.

If there is a lot of dust, mold spores, smoke and other pollutants, you might need to change the filters in 6 months.

If the pollution is just moderate, you can change the air purifier HEPA filters once per year.

Other things might also get you to change your HEPA filters include Covid-19. This is a question that has been floated too much on the web.

People ask how often they should change their HEPA filters due to COVID-19. Some sources say change the filters in 2 to 3 weeks. However, it is best to ask an expert what you should do.

When it comes to such a pandemic, you want to keep your indoor air as clean as possible. You also want to get your information from credible sources.

How do I know if my HEPA filter is dirty?

Image of how long does a hepa filter last

To know whether your HEPA filter is dirty or clean, you have to inspect it. Therefore, remove it out of the air purifier and check it out.

If you notice debris like hair and dust on it, it is dirty. If it is a washable filter, you can clean it. If it is not, you can replace it with a new one.

It is not hard to know when you need to replace HEPA filters since they show signs of aging. However, other filters such as carbon filters never show signs of aging.

In the case of carbon filters, follow the recommendations of the manufacturer regarding when to change the filters.

How long do charcoal filters last?

Activated charcoal filter is the same as activated carbon filter. Some air purifiers come with activated carbon filters.

If you have an appliance with charcoal filters, you might not need to change them too often. They can last as long as 4 years without changing them.

However, you cannot wash these filters. If they become too dirty, you have to replace them.

How long does a HEPA filter last?

HEPA filters can last as long as three years in great shape. However, if you live in a place that has many pollutants, it is important to change them earlier, say, in about 2 years.

You can also find out whether your air purifier comes with washable HEPA filters. If it does, you should follow the same process that we discussed in our article for how to clean dehumidifier filters.

Mostly, you need to clean the filter in running cold water. However, before it gets there, use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any dust or mold spores gently.


How long does an air purifier last? If it is a HEPA filter, it can last up to 3 years, but it is best that you do not let it get to that long.

If you will eventually replace it, there is no need to wait too long lest it allows contaminated air into your house.

Activated charcoal filters can last as long as 4 years.