07 Oct 5 Reasons Why Your HVAC Air Filter Is Important
One of the simplest, cheapest, and yet commonly overlooked home maintenance items is changing your HVAC air filter.
A brand new air filter is typically white and will turn gray after use. The darker the color, the longer it most likely has been since it was last changed.
You should be changing your air filter approximately every one to three months, depending on the season, HVAC usage, home conditions, and manufacturer recommendations. If you own any pets or someone in your family has allergies, it is a good idea to change the filter more frequently. Make sure to check the owner’s manual for your HVAC system to see if there is any specific guidance about how often you should be changing the filter for your particular system.
Why is the air filter such an essential part of your home’s HVAC system? There are many reasons why your air filter and changing it often are important.
1. Improves Indoor Air Quality
The air filter in your HVAC system helps to reduce pollutants in the air, including dust, dirt, pollen, and other contaminants. When you have pets or smoke inside your house, your HVAC system has to work even harder to filter the air. If you have any pets, pet fur and dander add an additional layer of allergens. If you smoke inside your home, there are many chemicals that linger in the air after smoking.
The air filter will help to keep allergens and contaminants out of the air you are breathing while in your home. If anyone in your family has allergies, doing whatever you can to have better indoor quality air is crucial to minimize the allergens that cause asthma attacks or other respiratory health problems.
Even if you don’t have allergies, your home’s air quality should still be a top priority, and having better indoor air quality can help prevent you from getting sick as often.
2. Increases Energy Savings
With a clean air filter, your HVAC system will be ready to run at optimal performance. When your air filter is too dirty, it can become clogged. A clogged filter makes it more difficult for the air to flow through the system, leading to your HVAC system having to work harder to function.
Keep the filter clean and unclogged by staying on top of changing the filter. As you regularly replace your air filter, it can help to lower the cost you see on your utility bill.
3. Leads to Fewer Repairs
Doing regular preventive maintenance will help to keep your HVAC system running well and requiring fewer repairs.
When a filter is dirty, the air has more difficulty passing through the system, and problems or malfunctions such as overheating or a clogged system can occur.
4. Extends the Life of Your HVAC System
When you keep up with HVAC maintenance, including routine servicing and changing the air filters regularly, you will help keep your HVAC unit running for longer. A new furnace can set you back a few thousand dollars and is not an expense you want to deal with when a breakdown could have been prevented. The longer your current system runs efficiently, the more money you can keep in your pocket.
5. Can Save You Money
The bottom line is that keeping up with preventive maintenance can save you more money in the long run. By taking care of your HVAC system, your unit will be more efficient, need fewer repairs, and last longer. All of these factors will lead to a cost savings from not having to pay for unexpected maintenance, unit replacement, or higher utility bills from an inefficient and poorly maintained system.
When Was the Last Time You Changed Your HVAC Air Filter?
Now that you know how important it is to change your air filter on a regular basis, you will want to add it to your home maintenance checklist. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the filter, it would probably be a good time to purchase a new filter and change out your old one.
Keep track of when you last changed the air filter by making a note in your calendar so that you don’t forget when it is time to change it again.
How Do I Know Which Air Filter to Choose?
When choosing an air filter for your HVAC system, there are many options, and it can be overwhelming.
Your air filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating measures how well the filter stops dust particles or other contaminants from passing through. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the filtration where more particles are trapped and fewer can pass through.
Having the highest MERV rating on your HVAC air filter does not necessarily mean it is the best choice. If your HVAC system was not intended for a filter with that level of filtration, the performance might be reduced, leading to inefficiencies and making your system work harder to pass air through the filter.
Reference the owner’s manual for your HVAC system for recommendations on the air filters you should choose or ask a professional about the best air filter for your HVAC system.
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