Most homeowners know that the HVAC system in their home has filters that need to be replaced periodically. Do you know why it’s important to change those filters? Or how often it’s recommended for your home and specific heater and air conditioning unit?
In order to save you from costly HVAC repairs, and keep the air in your home fresh, here’s what to know about HVAC filters.
Why change HVAC filters?
Your home’s air filters are meant to keep large particles and debris from being sucked into the heating or air conditioning unit. If these filters were allowed to enter your HVAC units, it could clog them or cause some other mechanical failure resulting in the need for repairs.
Additionally, the air quality of your home depends on HVAC filters. Pollutants and allergens are caught in the filters and kept out of the air in your home.
However, when a filter is old and clogged with dirt and debris, it does a poor job of keeping your home’s air clean, and can even contribute mold into the air. It also forces your HVAC system to work harder to heat or cool your home.
When to change HVAC filters?
To avoid the bad outcomes listed above, you need to replace your HVAC filters regularly. At the very least, it’s recommended that you replace your home’s filters once before turning your air conditioner on for the first time this year, and once before turning your heater on for the first time this year.
In reality, that isn’t enough for most homes. Instead, check your filters monthly to gauge how dirty and clogged they are. If it’s caked in dirt, or damaged in some way, it’s definitely time for a change.
In some situations, your filters may last three months or more. In others, you’ll need to change your filters every month. Here are some factors that contribute to filter change frequency.
Quality of the HVAC filter
While there’s a specific size of filter that will fit your HVAC system, there is a range of thicknesses, materials, and overall quality to choose from. If you opt for the cheapest filter available, you’ll likely get what you pay for and be left replacing it more often. More expensive filters may offer a longer life, and enhanced filtering of allergens.
Environment around your home
If it’s windy outside for weeks on end, or there’s an excessive amount of dust in the air, you may find yourself replacing your HVAC filters even faster than once per month. It may be a certain time of year or a temporary factor that causes more debris to travel into your ducts, or it may be that you live in an area that simply requires more filter changes.
For example, if you live on a farm or ranch, it will likely be harder to keep air filters clean.
More temporary causes may be a construction site nearby, or a recent wildfire in the area.
Who’s enjoying your heater and air conditioner?
The larger your family, the more often you’ll need to change filters. With more people in the house, there’s likely to be more dirt circulating in the air being sucked into your ducts. That’s especially true of houses with kids.
If you own pets, there’s also more dirt and pet hair in the air. Fur and dander is particularly quick to clog up an air filter. If you have big dogs, your HVAC filters aren’t likely to last more than a month.
If you replace your home’s air filters regularly, your HVAC system should run efficiently for years to come provided you also perform routine preventative maintenance.
For help keeping your home’s heater and air conditioner running smoothly, call Sigler Heat and Air at (918) 834-5737 and ask us about our VIP program that allows you to save 10% on parts and labor.