Changing Your HVAC Filter

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter

With people essentially compelled to stay at home and indoors, there’s more focus than ever on the importance of changing your HVAC filter regularly.

Replacing your air filter is part of the maintenance process of your air conditioning and heating system. Regular maintenance contributes to increased efficiency and improved performance of the entire system and saves wear and tear.

Here we give you the benefits of regularly changing your HVAC filter.

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter #1: It Improves and Maintains the Air Quality

According to the US Environment Protection Agency, indoor air may be 70% more polluted than the air outside. And poor air quality is among one of the top public health risks. HVAC filters are designed to filter pollutants out of the air that passes through them.

HVAC filters trap and hold a wide range of contaminants that affect the quality of indoor air. These include:

  • Dirt and dust

  • Animal fur and hair

  • Lint and other fibers

  • Pollen

  • Mold and mold spores

  • Microorganisms and bacteria

Changing your HVAC filter ensures that your family enjoys fresher, healthier air. It is especially important if you have young children or elderly people in your home, or if there are members of the family who suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions like asthma.

Since indoor air is recirculated air, clean HVAC filters guarantee that your system is not constantly circulating dust and dust mites, pollen, and other contaminants in the air. You are assured that your system is able to purify the air in your home more effectively.

Perhaps the question often asked these days - can HVAC filters protect against the COVID-19 virus, flu virus, etc? While they can reduce indoor air pollutants including viruses, HVAC filters on their own, are not enough to protect people from viruses.

However, when used with the other protocols recommended to fight off vitus, including coronavirus, HVAC filters can be part of the overall strategy to protect your family while staying indoors.

Changing your HVAC filter regularly will ensure that it works efficiently in filtering the indoor air in your home of pollutants.

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter #2: It Improves Your Unit’s Efficiency

With constant use, your HVAC filter becomes full of small debris that prevents your unit from working properly until it is cleaned. As already mentioned above, allowing your filter to become clogged will affect the air quality in your home.

Failing to regularly change your HVAC filter lets dust and contaminants get into your system. The buildup of dust and debris will affect the moving parts of your system, including fan motors and valves. This makes your unit less energy efficient, working harder to heat or cool your home.

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter #3: It Lowers Your Energy Bills

If you’ve noticed your energy bill suddenly skyrocketing, one of the things you need to check is your HVAC filter. Because your unit has to work harder because of a clogged filter, expect your electricity bill to increase as a result.

Changing your HVAC filter ensures that your unit does not have to work as hard and you can save as much as 15% each month on utility bills.

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter #4: It’s Better for the Environment

Because your unit is more energy efficient, you are using less electricity or fuel, and consequently producing less greenhouse gasses.

Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter #5: Extends Your Unit’s Lifespan

If your HVAC unit continues to work harder over a long period of time, it will eventually break down and stop working altogether. Scheduling preventive maintenance, including changing your HVAC filter, avoids breakdowns and possible expensive repairs or replacement.

How Often Do You Need To Change Your HVAC Filter?

Your HVAC filter needs to be changed when it gets dirty. It’s easy, however, to overlook checking on it, especially when you get too busy. The consequence is that you run the risk of running your unit over a long period of time with a clogged filter.

We suggest having a regular schedule for it. For instance, you may do it every last day of the quarter. Or you may schedule it with other regular home maintenance tasks like changing your smoke alarm batteries or changing your sprinkler timer with the changing season and weather.

During the peak season when you use your unit more heavily, you may want to check your HVAC filter more frequently for any buildup of debris or dirt.

There are also several factors that may affect how often you need to change your HVAC filter. These include:

  • The number of people who live in your home.

  • The number of pets you have.

  • The overall quality of air where your home is. Do you live near a major road where there’s heavy traffic? Are you situated near a factory which may emit pollutants into the air?

  • The requirements of the people in your home. Do you have anyone living with you with allergies or other health issues?

  • The type of filter your system requires and the manufacturer’s recommended replacement frequency.

As a general rule, you should change your filter at a minimum every 6 to 12 months. This is if you live alone, have no pets, and live in a relatively smog free environment.

The interval between filter changes shortens considerably if you have allergies or have multiple pets at home. In this case, you should change your HVAC filter every 30 to 45 days.

Things To Consider When Buying a Replacement HVAC Filter

When purchasing a new filter for your HVAC system, it’s important to take these characteristics into consideration.

Size of the filter

It’s important to buy one that fits your HVAC system perfectly.  Buying a filter that just “closely” fits your system will not do its job well. It will allow dirt and debris to escape into the air vents through gaps between the air duct and filter.

MERV Rating

The MERV rating of the filter you are buying should be at the specified standard. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and rates the overall effectiveness of the air filter.

The higher the MERV rating is, the finer the level of filtration and the fewer is the amount of dust particles and other contaminants including pet hair or pollen can pass through.

Home HVAC system filters normally have MERV ratings between 8 and 13. This will remove 45% of the pollutants in your home. To give you an idea, a MERV rating of 8 will filter out dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. The US EPA says filters should at least have a MERV rating of 8 to meet indoor air quality specifications.

MERV ratings typically found in hospitals or in operating rooms range from 14 to 20.

A note on MERV ratings - While you may want to install high efficiency filters, it’s important to stay within the ratings that your HVAC manufacturer recommends. Installing higher-rated filters can affect the performance of your unit and you run the risk of burning out the blower and heat exchanger of your HVAC unit.

So Cal Services Specializes in HVAC Systems

Changing your HVAC filter regularly is the simplest maintenance task you can perform that goes a long way in ensuring that your system runs efficiently and avoids costly repairs down the line.

If you need repair, maintenance, or installation/replacement services for your air conditioner, or heater, So Cal Services is the company to call for trustworthy and high quality AC service and heater service in your area.

Our skilled and trained technicians provide expert service that you will be completely satisfied with!

Call or text us at:

Office: (951) 926-1978 

Text: (951) 662-4894 

Tags: changing your HVAC filter, how often should I replace HVAC filter, how often should I replace home air filter, maintain home air quality, HVAC filter maintenance


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