There comes a time for every HVAC system when the air filter must be changed. But when is that time? And why does it need to be changed so often? Which type and size of filter should you use?
- Standard filters are designed for the protection of the equipment only. You need special air filters specifically for allergies to trap minuscule dust particles.
- If there is an allergy sufferer in your home, not any air filter will do – look for one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
- On the flipside, a thin filter with a high MERV rating can reduce airflow; so if you are looking for one with a higher rating, make sure it’s thicker as well – generally pleated, 4- to 5-inch deep works best.
- An overused filter can raise your energy consumption, costing you more.
- Your energy expenditure can drop 5%-15% when replacing a dirty filter for a new one.
- They should be changed every three months (at least) and/or at the start of each season.
- Don’t try to clean and reuse your filter unless it is designed to do so – it can damage the filter, allow loose particles back into the air, and (if still wet) develop mold and bacterial problems.
- If you cannot find the location of your HVAC air filter, it can be in one of several places, depending on your type of system: a slot in the ductwork on the return air side, above the unit, below the unit, behind the return air grill on the wall, or behind the return grills in each room of your home.
- Make sure your system is off before checking the filter. This will keep any loose particles from flowing through the system.
If changing your filter doesn’t seem to be affecting your system for the better, or if you have a growing concern about how it’s operating, we’ll be more than happy to set up a consultation with you.