One of things you can do for your HVAC system, indoor air quality and your pocketbook is changing the air filter regularly. Find out the particulars of why, how often, selecting and changing the air filter with this easy guide.
Why Is Changing the Air Filter Important?
Air filters were designed to protect forced-air equipment and components — such as your A/C, heat pump, furnace and air ducts — from dirt and debris. Many filters are designed to capture a host of tiny airborne contaminants to help maintain healthful indoor air quality. Following could be truthful slogans on many filter packaging:
- “Save up to 15 percent cooling and heating with regular filter changes.”
- “Best HVAC preventive maintenance? Changing the filter regularly.”
- “Reduce airborne allergens, germs, garage emissions, odors and more with high-efficiency filters.”
- “Don’t catch the flu; capture it.”
How Often Should You Change the Filter?
The frequency of changing (or cleaning reusable) filters depends on HVAC system usage and the type of filter, as well as other factors unique to your home (such as pets). Read the packaging carefully, and follow manufacturer instructions for changing or cleaning. Typically, you should check the filter once a month during peak cooling/heating, and no less than every three months to prevent HVAC wear, high energy consumption and blower damage. When it looks dirty, change or clean it.
Which Filter Do You Choose?
Selecting the right filter for your needs depends on what your needs are. If household occupants suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, you’ll probably require a filter rated minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) 8 to 12. Though the MERV system has higher-efficiency filters ranging from MERV 13-16 (and 17-20 for HEPA filters), they generally require physical modifications to your HVAC system to ensure they’ll fit properly and won’t restrict airflow.
How Do You Change the Filter?
It’s common for the filter slot to be located behind the air-return grille, or in the ductwork at the furnace. Take a look at your old filter and see if it fits snugly with no space around the edges for air bypass. If it’s the correct size, you’re in business. If your old filter does not fit properly or there is no filter at all, measure the filter slot.
For more tips about changing the air filter in your Dayton-area home, contact Detmer and Sons, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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