A clean air filter is essential to keeping your HVAC system running properly. How do you know when it’s time to change it? The answer depends on a few questions, explained below.
A filter that is visibly dirty should be changed. It’s not a good idea, however, to wait until it is really dirty. Running the system with a clogged filter will ensure that it is not performing highly.
What Kind of Filter?
The first step is to figure out what type of filter your system uses. This will help you determine how often it needs to be replaced. Filters vary in form, thickness, materials and other ways. Even different grades of the same filter at different price points will have different lives. Checking the filter that is in place will give you an idea of how long it should last, typically somewhere between one and six months.
What Season Is It?
Filters need to be changed more often in the summer as the system sees more constant use then. Most HVAC professionals recommend a change every month during the summer.
Do You Have Pets or Allergies?
If you have pets in the home or anyone with allergies, it will affect how often you should change the filter. Almost all cats and dogs shed, and their fur goes all over the house. Unfortunately for your HVAC system, pet fibers will also get into the filters. You’ll likely need to change the filter more often.
Allergies will also mean more frequent changes. To make sure you are removing as much of the allergens from the air in your home as you can, you will want to replace filters more often than recommended. Full and dirty filters won’t trap the allergens like they should. A filter rated between MERV 8 and MERV 12 is recommended for the best contaminant control in homes.
Want to Save Money?
You might think you’ll save money by delaying filter changes, but the opposite could be true. The U.S. Department of Energy states that replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 10 percent. A simple filter change can lead to dollars shaved off your cooling bill.
Not sure how to start checking your air filter or how to replace it? The professionals at Nelson Comfort of Cincinnati are ready to help you answer any questions.